I'm having a hard time getting a good pic of my 10 gallon with my phone lol but its divided into three sections anyway, so probably not exactly the ideas you're looking for.
If you're gonna go with a 10 gallon, petsmart has a 10 gallon tank/hood combo for less than $30 (hoods are the expensive part lol). Petco is having their $1/gallon sale right now too, at least my local one is.
As far as plants, real are really beneficial in improving water quality and are also more attractive (IMO) but they do have certain requirements. For live plants you will need a flourescent bulb that can support plant growth (I think you can get these fairly inexpensively at Walmart). You also would need to research the different plants and see which ones would thrive best in your tank. Many plants require CO2 to really thrive (as seen in CjRager89's tank). Java moss and java fern can both look very nice and are very low maintenance and can grow without the CO2 and are pretty hardy. I'm getting some lol. Anyways, if you're not gonna go with live then I'd stick with silk since they're less likely to snag flowing tails.
As far as filters go, I am a big advocate of sponge filters. Petco and Petsmart don't carry them but if you have a LFS, they might, and they are very easy to find online.
All my tanks have the Theo Hydor heaters, which are temp adjustable and fully submersible. I mainly went with that particular brand because they were having a great sale on them lol. I *think* a 50 watt heater is adequate for a 10 gallon tank? There are several good brands, I just suggest you make sure you get one where you can manually adjust the temp and that it be fully submersible.
HTH! Good luck!