My son swears by the Ikea starter kit. He's bought two, because he decided it wasn't worth the effort to move the last one across the country when he moved from Boston to California.
I was amused by the extensive list above. I didn't have everything on that list until I was about 40. I would argue for the essentials:
Good paring knife
Bread knife (I actually use a serrated tomato knife)
Good big knife
Cutting sheet (the $2.99 ones they sell at the grocery store are light and easy to pack)
Cookie sheet with a silpat sheet (nonstick! amazing!)
12" nonstick frying pan
2 quart sauce pan
Tableware for 4
Mugs for 4
dish towels (a pack of 50 shop towels costs about $10 at Home Depot, lasts forever, and doesn't generate trash)
My personal list would add wine glasses and a corkscrew, but I don't consider those essential... You can always buy screwtop and drink it from mugs.