I think I’ve decided to try to go with a sump if I can get my tank drilled, it seems like the best course if I can pull it off! I really like the size of a 40 breeder and for what kind of fish I’d like to start with! Plus there’s so many cool corals I’d like to try that I’d run out of room too quickly in a smaller tank haha.If I were you, I will skip the canister filter and straight to HOB and powerhead. Canister is a ***** to maintain. Get something like Seachem Tidal 55 or good ol Aquaclear HOB!
As for lighting, I will go for something else.
Why not go smaller tank? Get a IM Fusion 10 or 20? You can have 1 AI prime for $150 used and don't need any HOB or powerhead (for 10)