I got my CCNA in June and have the CNNP Switch exam out of the way. Bar none, hands down, the absolute best CCNA material for me was Jeremy Cioara's CBT Nuggets and Chris Bryant's Train Signal videos (how you get them... well I know they're not cheap). Chris Bryant is the best for learning subnetting out of all the instructors out there.
I bought all of Wendell Odom's offical Cisco Press books, but too dry and boring, I don't recommend.
Most helpful book was the CCNA Portable Command guide, but you would need some emulators or some lab equipment, which if your going down the Cisco path is great to have, I invested alot over time on equipment, but the Cisco Certs have easily been the most difficult and most rewarding to me.
I'm looking into selling my lab right now, most of it purchased from certificationskits.com, use to be ciscokits. I have a very nice sturdy Skeletek C16U-HD rack that rolls they're mounted on. Three 2950 switches, four 2600 routers, two of them XM with plenty ram (need to do a show ver.), on Pix 515-E firewall with 7.0 SAS, unrestricted licesnse. And... most importantly over time a simple 2509 terminal server with octal cable that consoles into each of the devices to not have to plug the console switch back and forth blah blah. Tedious.
Nothing like owning the real equipent, let me tell you. I know GNS3 or the other emulators are good, but just not the same at all, trust me. I think I have about 1600 invested (wic2t module in one of the 2611xm routers) in all of this, I think I'd be willing to part with for almost half. All this stuff is like an investment, cuz we can always resell, easily on ebay..
As for books, I bought and read them all, those videos were the absolute most helpful, Chris B. for subnetting Jeremy C. for overall fun and learning experience. Lamelle's stuff is pretty good and CCNA all in one for dummies is the most up to date (not bad itself). I'd steer clear of the Cisco Press, other than the Portabe Command Guides.
I have plenty to share if you need any help advice, I spent ALOT of time and resources on the cisco exams...
Oh and P.S. although I'm going for my security training right now, let me tell you as soon as you have your CCNA and post your resume on monster or careerbuilder, the phone calls/ emails don't stop it is very very hot..
Last edited by MindOverMatter
on Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A+, Network+, Security+, CIW Associate, CCNA, C|EH