I would consider myself a skilled amateur photographer; I have taken college level photo classes, have worked at times as a photo assistant, have a darkroom in my basement, and am a photoshop expert. I have a very good quality digital camera, just a notch below pro quality. I have a simple light set-up and know some tricks to improve results. I have also managed many photo shoots in my work as an art director, and have developed a very good eye for images. But even with these skills, over the years I have learned that if I have enough lead time and have the funds, I always get better results when I hire a pro to shoot product images.
Still, there are times when I need to shoot something to get it up on the web or to add it to a product catalog and don't have the time (or funds) to use a pro. Here is a WikiHow article that may help you when you find yourself in the same spot:
If you want to buy a table-top lighting set (lamps and dome) I suggest B&H camera. I use a set-up that cost about $150.