Love the scrapbook :)
As for carriers, I'm a size 24 so alot of structured carriers were just out of the question. I had a Moby style wrap when my daughter was newborn. Pros: super comfortable, easy to put on once you get the hang of it. Cons: I found it impossible to take her in and out without retying - I just found it loosened up way too much. Ditto for putting it on before getting in the car to drive somewhere, with the goal of just popping her in when we arrived. Too loose! Also, it was pretty hot in the summer.
I got my ring slings when she was about 4 months old and was totally sold! So easy to put on and she could go in and out as many times as I needed, it isn't a big deal at all. I wore her until she was over a year old, very comfortably. In fact, I didn't even bother to buy a stroller until she was 15 mo.
I bought two linen slings from this shop:
They're on vacation right now, but should open again soon. I can't tell you what good quality they are - I got 2 slings for the price of one big name sling, and they are super well made. They've been washed and warn over and over. Oh, also - I was worried about traditional slings not having a long enough tail to go around us - this shop makes longer length slings so I bought one regular and one extra long - turns out we didn't really need the extra length but the option is nice!
I'm going to skip the wrap and try the ring sling right from the beginning with this baby, I'm thinking it will be much easier!
What else...as for essentials...we had an in-bed co-sleeper : http://www.amazon.com/First-Years-Secure-Sleeper-Colors/dp/B00012CHFI and loved it - we had lots of room IN our king size bed but not enough room BESIDE our king sized bed for a co-sleeper crib. A breastfeeding pillow was wonderful - a big help on your back for breast or bottle feeding, and a nice place for the baby to sit up in.
clothes - I admit, I like to dress a baby up a bit - I wasn't happy keeping her just in pajamas. That said, It's all about comfortable! I love soft, elastic waist pants, kimono shirts instead of onesies, and lots of little sweaters! Of course, I'm a knitter, so I'm biased towards sweaters! My best tip for clothing would be to buy at least a few outfits in the "too tiny to believe" size - DD was 7lb3oz and nothing fit her for a good month! Of course, like I said before - I liked to dress her up a bit, so if I hadn't cared so much, too big would have been fine, too. I like gowns with the elastic bottoms for pj's at first.
Oh, and zippers vs snaps: Snaps all the way! Especially for one piece clothes, i.e. jammies. With zippers you can't poke a finger in to check for a wet diaper. You also have to unzip the entire thing to change them - with snaps you can check and then just undo their legs to get at the diaper!
Lots and lots of baby washcloths, especially if you're cloth diapering - they're wonderful wipes, I liked them much better than the thick fleece or sherpa diaper wipes - they are nice and thin so they get into the crevices easily!
I found a moses basket for cheap at a yard sale, in perfect shape. I just sewed it a new cushion and kept it downstairs for when she napped during the day. .