Although the basic equipment of rod, reel, line, float etc hasn't changed in several hundred years, tackle is so much more sophisticated and beautifully engineered than in earlier times.
Rods and reels are so well made that they don't wear out any longer, they simply become unfashionable and discarded for absolutely no other reason.
Rods and poles have been built from carbon fibre for quite a number of years now. It is so much lighter than any other rod making material. Manufactures are always striving to make their rods stronger and lighter but these improvements are tiny compared to the huge difference between carbon and the previous rod building materials of fibreglass and cane.
Most fishing tackle is now made in China but that doesn't detract from the quality of the tackle produced. Modern reels are virtually unbreakable in normal use, they seem to last for ever. The same can be said of smaller items of tackle such as line and hooks, seats, chairs. tackle boxes and luggage are all beautifully made to last longer and be more functional than earlier versions.
Once you are hooked (on the sport, not in the head, finger, ear etc) you will want to specialise more on one aspect of fishing, and will look back in years to come and wonder how you ever caught a fish on such 'primitive' gear. When that time comes, and the tackle that you bought in the year 2000 is gathering dust in a corner, don't 'bin' it. Wander down to the local park lake or club lake, find the lad fishing with the Woolworths 5ft rod and 20lb line, and give him your original gear, in the hope that he too might find happiness in the gentle art. You will feel good in the knowledge that you have given back to the sport just a tiny morsel of the satisfaction that it has given to you.