I am going to add/edit this list according to my preferences.
Any automotive clay of your choice. Meguiar's, Mothers, Pinnacle, Wolfgang, they all pretty much do the same thing.
I agree, any fine grade clay will do.
Rags – Microfiber, microfiber, microfiber. www.poorboysworld.com has all the ones you'll need. Also, get a sheepskin mitt, at least two. Brand doesn't usually matter. You also need a towel to dry your car. Waffle weave works well, as does a towel called the Absorber.
Again, agree. I personally use microfiber waffle weaves to dry. I use 16x16 microfiber for everything else. I dislike the absorber *personally* because it requires dragging. I get all my mf's from www.detailedimage.com
Polish – Picus recommended some good ones. I use Poor Boy's World Polish and EX Sealant. Zaino is what the rest of the forum seems to prefer.
A little addendum here. Polishing = compounding. Zaino Z2/Z5 are no polishes (though they are labeled as such), they are sealants. You will not need a real polish on a brand new car (hopefully). Polishes are to remove scratches.
That leads me to sealants/waxes. I'd just go with a sealant. Honestly, 90% of the cars I do now I don't bother with a wax. Sealants look as good, lasts much longer, and are as easy to use. I use Zaino Z5pro on my car.
Also, I agree on Poorboys wheel sealant.
Here is the list of stuff *I* use when prepping a new car.
one bucket with grit gaurd
one bottle meguiars deep crystal
3-5 sheepskin mitts
2x microfiber waffle weave towels
one bar of fine grade clay
either menzerna final polish II (if there are some light scratches), or some jeffs werkstatt prime (chemical cleaner)
Zaino Z5pro or Werkstatt Acrylic Jett Trigger
If you have any other questions let us know.