With the recent craze around photo backgrounds on websites, I'm wondering if anyone has a strong recommendation or advice on which camera & lenses to purchase? I'd prefer not to spend a fortune, but I am willing to spend more if it's justified.
That's not really enough to go on (assuming you aren't trolling). Any digital camera produced in the last 10 years will give you an image big enough and sharp enough for a site background. When you get into printing, dynamic range and lens ecosystems, then you can start to tweeze things apart.
I'd get a used DSLR from Craigslist and start learning.