I'm from your area and return to fish the rivers a bit south of you every fall. If I had to do it over again my first dollar spent would be on some first rate instruction as the rods and styles are completely different from single handed techniques. Get started right and the gear will follow. Talk to Rick Whorwood in Ontario (THCI qualified). Also, Nick Pionessa at the Oak Orchard Fly Shop has been putting together some "evening claves" down in Buffalo that are fun, have gear, and are a good learning experiences. Derek Brown's video and the new RIO
DVD are good starting places as well.
My next dollar spent would be to travel and attend one of the Spey Claves either in or out of your area. You'll see casting styles and gear galore and will help give you a feel for equipment and what fits you and your river(s). The two planned for BC and Washington State (posted on this board) in October will have the Scots in attendance so you'd do well to witness them in action.
As for actual gear, I use a 13' 8 weight and a cut up Mid-Spey with a looped on 10 ft. type III tip once the water temps get into the low 50's (just a floater before then). I'm cutting over to a 60' Carron and sinking leaders this fall. My reel is a Lamson Velocity, it's just fine, maybe a bit overkill.
I use a rod with a faster action only because that's what was more available at the time. A "do over" would put me into something more traditional like a Clan or Bruce & Walker of equal weight and length. This is where religion can come in as a faster action Euro-underhand rod and shooting heads would serve you well in the GL. Again, this comes down to feel and what you like, which is why I recommended a clave before you buy.
Keep in mind that floating lines or slow sink leaders work well this time of year. Don't knock the GL fish on the head just yet. I've had plenty of hard takes on or near the surface on the same Spey flies I use for Atlantics in Gaspe.
PS. You can learn to Spey cast with your single hand rod in the meantime. Get the motions down that way and it'll help once you get a big rod in hand.
Hope this helps.