Forget about the OSM plugin. Theoretically it can render OSM data, but you can't expect any kind of multipolygon handling. This will lead to maps that will not look like you are used to from openstreetmap org.
The database format that the server use is not useful for rendering. The OSM database is about nodes, ways and relations, while a rendering database uses points, ways and polygons. The polygons are modelled in OSM as closed ways (but not all, think of racing courses which are closed but not an area) and multipolygon relations. And these multipolygon relations can be built up using other relations. Pretty complicated, but osm2pgsql manages to make the polygons from that as expected.
You don't need a robust server architecture either. For me, Postgis is running on the same Windows laptop I am answering your question. If you don't need the whole world in your database, you can pick a planet extract from Geofabrik for your part of the world, load it into a postgis database, and start rendering.
You better start off with a small extract, and if you are satisfied, try a larger one.