If you go with HOB's just make sure your water is high enough you don't get surface agitation and throw out the carbon inserts and replace them with sponges and filter floss. Canisters...help you get some of the clutter out of the back of the tank. If you're poor, you'll probably be running shop lights so a canister will help you fit more bulbs more easily, but they tend to not flow as much as some of the stronger HOB's so I'd use a powerhead or two to make sure you don't get dead spots.
55g planted tetra & sunfish tank & 55g reef
29g baby angel tank & 20L salt holding tank