Awesome thread man liking the idea.
Personally I never have used but I heard the MPD24 is swag, and that the MPD26 shits all over it. I am not saying this is true, but this is what I have come to think. Please tell me if I am wrong.
I would recommend the M-Audio Keyrig 25 for a beginner keyboard, but if you can go for the 49 key, I wish I hadn't have made this mistake. I would also recommend the Behringer BCF2000, I know behringer is a shit make all in all, but this control surface >>> 100 quid b-stock, great for a midi mixer, has motorized faders.