Quoted from freeplay3:
The one thing you need to accept is the reality of a single pin collection. You can spend 8k on a MMR or Wonka. You can spend 3k on a TFTC or monopoly. If you are going out to play pinballs on location, you will get tired of any 1 game you have. I'm sure it's been said before, but you can't ask for help picking a game. If you love a game you make it happen. If you really want a IMDN or JP2 pro just find the extra cash. If you grew up with an attachment to any particular game (mine is Whirlwind) then hold out for that game.
If there is no one game you want, you just want a game for your house, then you need to start making contacts with other pinsiders. Dont limit yourself to any game. Buy the best deal you can find, flip on it for a few months, then list it for sale or trade. Once you do deals with people they tend to put you in their loop. Sometimes this gets you a game opportunity before it hits the marketplace.
I hear you. I do know that it's a reality that no pin will hold me forever. I'm just hoping it to hold me for a while and hopefully be something for my wife to play more than my High Speed. I will definitely still play on location so that's a thing.
I don't have a dream machine exactly, but there's games I like more than others of course. When it comes to owning, I don't want this to be my last pin, so I'm not putting the fate of the world into this decision. It just might be a while before I get something else so I'd like something that has some staying power and I think that's doable in this price range.
I also agree that it would be a good idea to get to know people in the hobby. I'm a bit of a hermit by nature, but I'd like to do better with that. Not just for buying opportunities of course..I just love talking pinball and my wife's probably getting tired of that conversation. Anyways, I appreciate the comments.