Your driftwood should be fine. Boil it just to make sure. No power filters. They just off-gas your Co2 ( which I'm assuming you are going to want eventually). Go with a canister filter instead. Ehiem being the popular choice followed by Fluval and Filstar, although there are others that might be cheaper although not as reliable.
Make sure you start with a quality substrate and WASH IT WELL! I recently had a problem with a new sand substrate that I didn't wash and it turned into a milky mess in my tank. Had to rip it out, wash it thouroughly and put it back in. When your dealing with 150 lbs of sand, it ain't a walk in the park! Get some fast growing stem plants and put them in there to soak up any excess nutrients that could cause algae to grow and take over your tank.
Lighting is tricky. You might have to set up a plan as to what you want to keep and grow in your tank. 2x65 watt compact flourescents bulbs over a 55 gal will give you roughly 2.3 watts per gallon which would be enough to grow plants with a little fert and Co2. I would look into the lighting forum and get a feel for what you might need.
That's all I can really think of for now. I'm sure you'll get lot's of responses on this though!