Carseat: are you constrained on room in your vehicle? If not, Graco Snugride, then Britax Marathon. If so, Graco Snugride then Sunshine Kids Radian. The Britax is by far the easiest to install, but the Snugride is definitely safer for as long as the baby fits in it. The Radian is very thin, but quite tall, and can hold a kid for a LONG time in a 5 point harness, front and rear facing. I'd never use it for a newborn, though.
Cribs: Craigslist and freecycle are your friends. Just get a relatively easy to set up playpen (or two!) and you're all set. Graco's Pack 'n' Play are pretty much the standards here.
Strollers: Good luck. It very much depends on what you're looking to do with it. We never really got anything spectacular here, although we were pretty happy with our Baby Jogger for one kid and a Craigslist umbrella stroller for convenience.
Uh, no clue on Consumer Reports. I'm sure Mark and JohnK will be along shortly to tell you about that stuff.
Edited by Ken.C (06/22/13 10:57 PM)
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!