Welcome to the Gnuthouse Dave
A nursery is a good basis for a layout
I mainly use Gaugemaster controllers, but I think there are Gnearly as many different types of control/controllers in use as there are active members
Figures can be found from Pola/Prieser, or there are the Chinese copies (ebay). Pola do buildings, but they can be expensive, most people build their own. A good source of items can be found from 1/24th scale Dolls House accessory suppliers.