When I got into digital production ( circa 1995 ), Illustrator's Deluxe package ( v5.5 ) came with alot of fonts, as did v6 and v7. In my opinion, you can never have enough fonts, so get as many as you can afford. If you can get the folio for $100.-150., definitely do it. But, that seems like a low price for the entire font folio. I'm wondering if you get a limited edition because it is a student version. It is a pain to buy on demand, but that is another way of building your database. I've seen pro versions of the folio as much as $4995. Is it essential? It depends if you plan on running your own studio, maybe. If you plan on getting hired, then perhaps not so much. Get the suite and or see what comes with the set. I'm pretty sure you get free fonts with the design package.
I just checked the student/teacher folio out at Adobe.com. They say, for $149., they will sell you a 12mo. license to 500 fonts. I wonder if this is the typical font list they give pro users free with the CS; but do not supply in their CS student edition. Probably. I'd like to know what it is you get for $149; but there isn't a list anywhere to be found. It is still not a bad idea to get it at that price and while you are still a qualified "student". I also saw the pro version of the entire font folio for $2995.00 on the site ( a little less than I thought ). As a pro user since '95; I've not been required to buy the entire folio and find it hard to justify. That said, I've seen ad agencies and corporate marketing departments shell out that much dough for that many fonts.
Thanks a lot for the helpful and positive response danek. This is what i've been wondering as well. It seems strange if they are only a 12 month license alongside being bundled/system fonts they usually give it ( I usually get the teacher/student edition). I really hope its not. Would anybody know on here?
Hoping somebody could elaborate. I've posted this in the creative suite forums as well.