truth is... you don't need a board to "get your feet wet".
You only need a simulator. A deep understanding of combinatorial and sequential logic, an idea, and a plan. Simulate, simulate and simulate. After a few hundred cycles of simulation, if you didn't get bored, you can go ahead and get the FPGA and start fiddling with the electrical part.
Thats why the Spartan-3 Starter Kit I bought 10 years ago is in its box.