Lately I have been working quite a bit with the Kinect SDK for Windows, which you can install and use on your computer from our research department
The only thing you need to get started is a computer running Windows, a Kinect device (must be the one with a power chord, but you can buy the power chord separately very cheep at most stores where they sell Kinect), and the Kinect SDK.
Once you have everything installed I suggest you go to Channel9 and watch the QuickStarts to familiarize yourself with the basics and finally move over to the Channel9 Kinect blog to get inspiration and look at all the cool projects people are making.
In this series I will post a number of different controls, extensions and demo apps that I have created. Some are based on inspiration from the Kinect blog and other sources. The list of demos/howtos here will hopefully grow over time