-- Last Updated: Apr-17-12 3:14 PM EST --
With a plastic kayak, the driest skirt I found was a full neoprene skirt with a rubber rand. The cockpit seal is better than the bungee skirts I tried but it is harder to get off.
In PFDs, it's all a matter of the fit and features you want.
For wetsuits, I'd look at surfing/wakeboarding/waterskiing supply stores as well as paddling stores. Some of the new neoprenes are much more flexible than the older versions.
In paddles, your paddling style, strength, intended use, and budget are all factors. You should also have a spare, especially if you're paddling alone.
I've used high-end carbon-fiber paddles, paddles made from 2x4s, and many in between. Some were better at specific tasks, but none was best for everything.