I hated nursing bras last time- I LIVED in my bravado nursing tanks. They were great
This time I got some sports-bra-style nursing bras from Motherhood... they seem comfy enough right now, we'll see how it is when I'm actually nursing! I do plan to wear the tanks some too, but wanted other options.
I don't have experience with nipple shields, but from what I've heard, they're great if you NEED them, but if you can get by without them, all the better. I remember being quite sore for the first 3-4 weeks and then it getting much better after that. Lanolin was definitely helpful!