Yes standalone and grid connect are different, but there is some overlap, with inverters such as Australian made Selectronic doing both in one inverter, and also Victron inverters. Latronics is another reliable Aussie made inverter for off-grid, I'm currently using their 48V 7kW inverter, but have used Selectronic off-grid inverters in the past, and still have a couple of them here for smaller jobs in my aquaponics systems.
As far as charge controllers for off-grid systems, brands such as Outback Power, Morningstar, Midnite Solar and Victron have all been in the business a long time and are good reliable brands.
As for grid-tie inverters SMA and Fronius come to mind as top of the range brands, but there are quite a few others nearly as good.
Panel brands such as LG, Sunpower or REC are likely to be very reliable, however, paying twice as much for a panel like Sunpower generally wont give you twice as much energy as a less expensive one over the life of a panel, so best value doesn't necessarily = best quality panel. There are plenty of brands that deliver very good performance. I think the rule is to go for panels and inverters manufactured by companies that have been in business a long time, and have a good reputation on review sites. Not all brands are going to be available form all suppliers anyway, so it's generally a case of selecting the best priced panels with a good reputation. Most of the good ones have long warranties, something that was covered recently on The Checkout.
As far as wind power goes, for probably 99% of the country where people live, PV panels will deliver more energy for the money invested than a wind generator will, and in the long term panels will require less maintenance than a wind turbine.
Obtaining council approval to erect a wind turbine in a residential area is most probably unlikely. I've done some testing of cheap Chinese wind turbines here and they have worked quite well, as did one I built myself many years ago, but it just isn't windy enough for consistent reliable output.
Panel placement used to be all north facing in order to maximise FiT in the days when it paid well, but now that you don't get paid so much, it is better to utilise as much of your own generation as possible, including when you have batteries. This means that having some panels facing east, and some to the west will give a more even energy output over the day, avoiding the solar noon peak, and giving more energy when required ealy morning and late afternoon.
I did write up some info about what I call the Virtual Tracker in a thread on the forum I moderate here: https://forums.energymatters.com.au/solar-wind-gear/topic5064.html
Not all installers may be aware that facing all panels to the north isn't really the best solution, but it will come down to the roof shape, and how many panels you can fit where. Generally it is better to put a larger array that you might need as a minimum, as often payback times improve with larger arrays. One benefit is that you will have more self-generated energy available in cloudy weather.
Batteries as an addition to an existing system have a fairly long payback time, but it really depends on how much you value being able to keep the fridge and freezer, TV etc running during blackouts. Batteries if purchased as part of a system do increase the payback time a bit, but still are worthwhile, especially if you can get them on a special price deal IMO.
One thing to beware of is the power delivery of some batteries, Enphase comes to mind. Whilst it may store over 1kWh, it can only deliver 270W, which isn't enough to do much more than run the LCD/LED TV and a few lights. You need a big stack of them if you want to boil the jug or use the electric oven.