Nick, a practice chanter (with plastic double reed) is the starting tool and will be used as long as you play the pipes because it is a duplicate of the full sized chanter. Cost about $80.00 to $100.00. A full set of pipes around run about $1,200.00 starting price.
It would be good if you lived in an area that is away from other people. Not good if you live in an apartment or have a house that is real close to a neighbor. The Highland or War Pipes were, and still are made to carry long distances.
The chanter is very difficult to master due to the grace notes which may take about 1-2 years to play correctly depending on the amount of time you put into practice. Your fingers will not be on the holes like fingering a sax. The fingers are placed half way across the tone holes which take some time to get use to.
Too many "weekend pipers", as some call them, usually play out of tune and many do not use the grace notes which has helped to give the bagpipes a poor reputation in some cases. But I guess that goes with any instrument. Just depends on how advanced the individual wants to become.
A pro with a well tuned set of pipes makes a difference. But no matter how well they are played it is a sound that some people simply do not like.
Lastly, find a teacher. Do not try the self teach method.