It sounds to me like the only thing you're worried about right now is cycling your tank. =]
How many tanks do you have and what size are they? =]
No matter how you decide to cycle your tank it's gonna take FOREVER.
Unless you seed the tank by either:
1) Finding someone nearby with an aquarium that's already cycled and take some of their filter media and gravel and putting it in your filter and tank...
2) Use a bacterial colony in a bottle
I suggest going to either Dr. Forster and Smith's Aquatics
or Pet Blvd
to get some Dr. Tim's Nitrifying Bacteria
or Tetra SafeStart
The cheapest place is Pet Blvd and that's where I got my TSS but use it at your own risk. <=/ I wasn't completely positive about how safe my credit information was with Pet Blvd when I bought from them. <=/
Dr. Foster's and Smith is certified safe and therefore better to buy from even though the prices tend to be higher. =]
You can't usually find the products in stores so that's why I'm giving you links. =]
If you go with the Dr. Tim's bacteria then it's best to get it shipped overnight.
Also here's a page
about fishless cycling with Dr. Tim's bacteria and pure ammonia. The same rules apply if you decide to use Tetra SafeStart (TSS) instead. =]
Now know this first: I haven't gotten the chance to cycle my tank yet... =/ Life has been odd the past summer and semester. =/
So I'd wait till someone on here who's used Dr. Tim's (which I think is most popular) or TSS comments. =]
As for the Master Test Kit or no it's up to you. We highly recommend it though as it's the most accurate and handy for testing your water to find out its conditions if/when your fish gets sick. Also it's extremely accurate and useful for cycling purposes.