There is zero reason to get a Wii U without a gamepad. I believe you need one in order to set it up, but that's the primary selling point of the console. I am not sure if the power brick will work between Wii and Wii U, either.
Otherwise, your Wii peripherals will work. You can use any HDMI cable, Wiimote, and the sensor bar is the same.
Save yourself the trouble and don't ask why the TV remote is in the refrigerator.