Dday - yep, he was talking on a flat surface - 23 iron, then 1 gold. For uphills, there's two ways of doing it. Either stagger your uphill into sections of 6 diagonals high, in which case it'll require a 4xPowered Rail to boost you up 6 levels at a time, or have powered rail in the rise, in which case you'll need powered rail every third segment (and two blocks at the bottom to get you going - occasionally you might need them closer to maintain speed).
Also, I think I should introuduce you to:
Minecraft Wiki - Minecraft Wiki
This site will answer almost every question that you have.
I don't mind your questions at all, but when time is of the issue and you don't want to wait 6 hours for the next reply, this is the place to go.
Just put whatever you want to search for in the search box and away you go.
Here's the page on Powered Rail:
Powered Rail - Minecraft Wiki
Note: Per Notch's twitters about the 1.6 update, don't rely on any comments about "overspeed" boosting using parallel carts. They might work at this time, they might not work in the future.