Wow this is all really fantastic information, thanks guys!
And GameMaker is on sale for $45 right now!
Kiyoshi, just curious, could you elaborate a bit more on why it cannot be used for your entire game?
And rtcarroll07, UDK with Kismet also looks really nice! Thanks for the information!
TELLES0808, yeah I know that 3D is a greater challenge, but I've already built some moderately complex 3d animations, and I would just like to experiment with potential uses for these programs. I am particularly interested in building 3D web applications.