I think you meant to say you have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer... If so, generally no hurry to replace it with "something better." If you hit its limitations and need the next size up, or decide you want a Cuisinart or DeLonghi -- plenty of time to discuss it then. The exception comes when you plan on acquiring a lot of the attachments. You've got to decide on a brand then, because they don't swap out.
FWIW, KA has a new, spiral dough-hook which is better than the old "C" shape. Look into replacing yours if it's the old type.
Your Cuisinart food processor may or may not be of of a lot of use to you in baking. I hardly ever use mine.for breads. It puts too much heat into the dough. amd too much stress on flour glutens for most kneading purposes.
Most professional bread baking reicpes are based on a specific notation which involves the weight of the addition, expressed as a percentage, compared to the weight of the flour expressed as 100%. So, if you're going to be baking in professional quantities, you really need a scale. If not ... well a scale in the kitchen is a good thing and I'm not going to discourage you from buying one. Besides it's becoming increasingly common for home size, two-loaf recipes to be written by weight -- especially on hardcore sites like The Fresh Loaf. (Great site! Isn't it?).
On the other hand, you don't need to stop baking until Santa (or whomever) brings yours. A scale is by no means necessary to bake excellent bread; nor, for that matter are fantastically accurate measuring cups or even great care in using them. What is necessary is that you develop a sense of what the dough should look and feel like at any given stage of its development.
For most break baking the only really critical measurement is the yeast -- you have to have a good idea of how much flour you're using so you can get the yeast amount in the ballpark. But ... you know what? If you short the yeast a little, you can make up for it by allowing more rise time and your too-little amount of yeast will reproduce itself into exactly the right size colony.
The lesson being the more you understand and control the process, the better able you are to play with it and make recipes your own -- rather than near imitations of other peoples' baking. I cannot overemphasize the importance of not only using your senses, but trusting them more than the scale, the cup, or the watch. Believe me, people were baking great bread long before digital scales were invented.
Speaking of yeast you can buy small commercial amounts of SAF and Fermipan instant yeast, vacuum packed in about 8 oz packs for far less than you can in jars at the supermarket. These professional yeasts are the most consistent and the cheapest. In fact, they're so cheap you can waste half the bag and still come out several dollars ahead. Pack it in tupperware and keep in the fridge or freezer, it will last quite a long time. BUT... you'll want to play with other kinds as well. and why not.
As to always using the same kind of flour -- not a bad idea if you always want the same bread. Otherwise, not such a big deal. OTOH, always use very good flour. It does make a difference.
Just guessing that the "French bread" recipe at the Fresh Loaf interesting you is a pain sur poolish. IIRC, the recipe also calls for autolysis and limited kneading. It's a great bread to learn to bake. The trick with these breads is more in forming freehand loaves than anything else.
You can get away without using a stone, or ripping apart your oven to get it to steam for awhile. But if you're serious about artisanal crusts, you'll want a bakers stone or a cloche pretty soon. You don't have to set the steamer pan on the oven floor -- even though it works better, it will eventually warp the oven floor (learn from my mistake). Bottom rack is fine for the pan.
I have a recipe for similar, poolish based, pain de campagne (French country bread), which has a little more going on in some ways. It's a bit more technical through the kneading, more time consuming, a bit more forgiving in the baking, and overall a more rewarding bread to eat. I'd be very interested in having someone enthusiastic but not too experienced give the recipe a try to see how the instructions function. For various reasons, I don't want to post it. If (and only if) you're interested, shoot me a PM with your email, I'll send it to you as a PDF. It may take a couple of days though, as my schedule is hectic and uncertain for the near term. Let me make it clear, that if you try it you'll be doing me a favor, and not the other way around.
Also I wrote a poolish type bread, that does well in loaf pans already posted here: Search for "pumpernickel." You might also enjoy the olive bread (ricotta based) and "onion dill bread" (cottage cheese) recipes I wrote and posted on Chef Talk.