There may not be always be projects that allow me to use Cisco devices, in order to keep the things I have learned with much effort I spent lots of money to purchase refurbished Cisco wares. Here is the list which might be useful to you if you decided to purchase a lab for self study.
5x 2651XM with IOS 12.4(25)d.
3x 1841 with IOS 15M, this is my favourite affordable router model.
1x 3825 with IOS 12.4T, I am considering doing the RAM upgrade myself, the current router only has 256MB of RAM, current this router only serves as a FR switch.
1x 1921 with IOS15 Base license, I have huge problem finding data license from ebay sellers, I could only find security license for sale from ebay. I bought it at a reasonable price and it is new, now it is collecting dust because not much use for this….
1x 2511 with IOS11, this only serves as a terminal server, it supports 16 devices.
1x 871 with IOS12.4 IP services, this is my first router. However a year later it was EoL…
2x 3560 IP services switches, the reason I bought this pair is to practise private vlan.
2x 3550 IP services switches. Great switches but does not have private vlan.
2x ASA5505. I bought these as new. I later purchased two security plus license. The reason I bought the security plus license is to unlock the number of vlans I can use and also to liberate the restricted dmz, also to practice Active/Standby stateless failover, I only realized the difference between stateful and stateless failover after I bought the security plus license.
2x PIX525, with 4 port NIC card with unlimited license at a very very reasonable price, but these are heavy and noisy. The reason I bought this is to practice Active/Active and Active/Standby stateful failover and also multiple context.
1x IDS4215, finding a 4 port NIC card for this IDS is damn hard, I may consider using the PIX NIC cards for this, with only one sensor this IDS is collecting dust….
1x Juniper SRX220H, this is for JNCIA, this is a very versatile router/switch/firewall device, I will write up post about Juniper soon…