If you want to have any bagpipe other than Great Highland, in the USA, you will hit a lot of dead ends, and feel as though you're left in the cold. Don't worry. I'm writing this to let you jump over that part, and just go right for what you're looking for.
You have many options for your first set of pipes. What you want to do is decide if you want smallpipes or big pipes. The difference is that big pipes, like Highland pipes, are more difficult to play than small pipes, and some people just don't have the lung capacity or coordination to keep it up. Don't be intimidated by the big pipes, as you may find that you do have a knack for them -- I only found out after sheer determination and about a year of trying. Hopefully I can help you avoid waiting that long.
Among smallpipes, there are many types -- Border pipes, Uileann pipes, musettes, and others. Most of these pipes familar to dealers of Highland pipes come in the key of B-flat. All practice chanters come in B-flat. Don't bother looking for a practice chanter in a different key -- They don't make them in other keys, unless you have a custom-made one. B-flat is a terrible key. Most medieval music in in the key of C, D, F, G, and A-minor. B-flat will be an obstacle to you when you start playing medieval music, because you will have to adjust your fingering to play in other keys, and thus, have one less note on your scale.
The practice chanter is set up with Highland Fingering, which is different from the baroque fingering that a set of medieval pipes will use. Baroque fingering is typically what you use when playing recorders, crummharns, and other medieval and baroque period wind instruments. You really do need a practice chanter to learn the pipes, as far as dealing with blowing continuously, and dealing with gracenotes. What you should do is buy a cheap plastic recorder, in addition to your practice chanter. Yamaha, Gill, Angel, and other manufacturers make excellent recorders for less than $10. Here is why you need the recorder: You will practice your breathing and playing on the practice chanter, then you will use the recorder to learn the fingering that you will need on your non-b-flat set of pipes.
Pipes are expensive. Medieval pipes can be more expensive, since they're less common these days. Don't think of your first set of pipes as the only set you'll buy. There's no need to commit to a good, expensive set of pipes until you are absolutely sure what you want to end up playing. When you got your driver's license, you didn't go out and buy a $40,000 lurury car, did you? No, your first car was a beater -- a second-hand car with dents, dings, and well, cheap enough so that you weren't going to pay for it for the rest of your youth. Do the same thing with your first set of pipes. Look on craig's list or Ebay for used pipes, if you can. Remember -- these are pipes you will learn on, and that includes learning how to properly care for them (which some people call "learning how NOT to take care for them", if you get my drift...).
It's doubtful that you'll find a good set of used "medieval" pipes for sale, for reasons I've already mentioned. Don't worry. What you need is playing experience, experience using and setting up pipes. If you can find pipes in a key other than B-flat, especially in the keys I mention above, those are good possible choices. Do research on the features and sounds of the pipes you see online. Make sure that they're not proprietary -- make sure you can get the reeds for them without knowing how to make or modify your own reeds.
I mentioned in my first article that Mid-east has a good set of medieval smallpies. They are good, and if you have $130 - $160 (The average retail price range for that model), get them. But watch out for their large "Medieval Bagpipes". They are junk, although they look nice. First of all, the large Medieval pipes they offer are less expensive than the smallpipes. Go figure. The problem with the big pipes is that they are in the key of F, but you only get a B-flat reed meant for Highland pipes. This combination does not work. Secondly, the holes are rough and full of splinters. Holes on the wood of a music instrument should be all smooth, otherwise they don't play the right tones. The joints are all leaky -- bagpipes need to be ait-tight. With a lot of work -- and I mean re-tooling, re-boring some holes, sanding, and re-hemping all the joints, and having a reedmaker custome make a reed for you, you can get them to work, but that will be a descision you'll have to make for yourself. Avoid those pipes if you don't want to spend weeks working on them.
My first set of pipes were in B-flat, unfortunately, but they helped me figure out how to play large pipes. Sure, I had to be a solo musician for a while, but these pipes -- which cost me about $300, were ultra-cheap, looked medieval, and were a good cheap way to pick up the skills needed to play most large pipes. Since I couldn't play along with other musicians, I tended to play mostly with drummers and other percussionists. Mostly, I played alone, as you will likely do, because you don't want people to hear you playing until you actually get reasonably good at it... Or maybe you do? Heck, even I know some people I'd like to play pipes badly around, just to drive them crazy!
Until you're confident that you can buy a good professional set of pipes, you may want to stick to local vendors -- find the nearest babpipe suppliers in your area, and see if they actually have models to demonstrate. The more local, the easier it will be to get support and information for when things go wrong.