Sadly, I am one of those people with knock off rigs. The main reason I went with that is because the rig I bought costs about as much as two or three lemo power cables. For a high schooler, that's still a lot of money. While I could probably justify now spending the 3-4k on a basic pilot setup, there was no way my parents would have OK'd that, and even then there was no guarantee I would have enjoyed using it or been any good at it.
At the same time, I am not really a member on this forum to give advice and evidence, like most of you guys. I am far from being a pro-level operator, and while I could see myself doing that in the future, right now that is not a priority. Spending under a grand for a more-or-less functional setup is definitely a viable way, at least in my opinion, to figure out if one is suited to working towards becoming a professional operator. Who knows, in a couple years, I may be one of the people buying a used PRO rig to begin training on, but for now my trusty POS will have to do.