I have just started to record some of the stuff I'm writing and at the moment I'm using a computer microphone which is recording at quite bad quality.

What's some reasonably cheap computer compatible gear that I could use for basic recording.

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i use reaper for recording software, it is essentially free and works with VSTi Plug ins, such as EZ drummer. It has plenty of features as well.
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Hardware-wise there are three things which will make an absolutely massive difference:

1. Soundcard. Terratec and EMU make some great and cheap soundcards.
2. Get a decent mic. For all round use you can't beat a Shure sm-58, but if you're just recording vocals, acoustics, etc then there are some pretty cheap condensers which are nice, the AKG C1000 also takes a battery in case you don't have a preamp to supply phantom power.
3. Get a mic preamp. Behringer MIC100 valve preamp for £33 ($66 ?). Absolutely mad quality for the price, was reviewed in SoundOnSound as preforming as well as units 6 times more expensive. I have one and it's great.