OK, this is absolutely not smartass (for once) and I'm being sincere. Honestly, how big of a pinball community is there that is willing to pump thousands of dollars into the pin market each year for all these tables if they were all readily available? I know that it is making a comeback due to people my age finally being able to afford them, more virtual tables available on more platforms, retro resurgance, etc. However, there have been NO public places around me to play for the last 15 years save the new arcade that literally opened this past Friday, and they only have 4 pins and already a few bad reviews. NO routes, NO bars, NO restaurants, NO collectors opening up their houses to the public... nothing. Luckily I found one (that's ONE) Pinsider close to me and was able to get some pins from him, otherwise my only option at all is the retail shop that was mentioned earlier that wants over $4000 for a HS2. I have no public place to play, no cheap options, and no hope of resuragnce in this area.
The only way that I can play is to buy them and put them in my house. I'm sure lots of us will open their doors to fellow collectors and let them play, but I'm not spending $5K+ on a machine to put it on the corner to let someone's kid abuse it for the few quarters it may produce in "profit" for me. At $1/play, that's 5,000 games that would have to be played on it to 'break even,' not counting maintenance and obvious wear/tear to the machine in the meantime.
I am pretty sure that the majority of people who are buying the "limited" machines are also putting them into their house and not putting them out on route for others to play. So then, honestly, how many people are out there to pump thousands of dollars a year into buying all the available machines to support hundreds upon hundreds of each to be made? Right now you've got 1 major company (Stern) pumping out 2-3 machines a year, plus JJP, plus SkitB, P3, Heighway, Spooky, etc all in the works to produce more. Let's be realistic and say that there are 7 new machines produced in total by all per year. If you've got 7 machines being produced for "everyone that wanted one" at a conservative cost of $5,000 per machine, that means that your average collector needs $35,000/yr plus the space to put them. That doesn't include money/space for any of the used games, or take into consideration the used market for these brand new games since not everyone keeps their games forever and there will be a big secondary market if tons of games are produced. I don't have the space or $35,000/year to begin to be able to keep up with that. I have to be selective with the little extra money that I have to put into this hobby, and I believe that I'm not the only one in this situation.
When TAF and TZ were made, pinball was a public thing, with public places to play, and a huge market that produced income. Now there are very few actual operators, and if I take their word for it on Pinside alone, they are in it more for the joy/nostalgia/fun instead of pure profit. Between maintenance and high costs of new machines there isn't a ton of profit to be made. Yes, it would be great if all the machines were available to everyone to play. Yes, I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT if there was some place near me with new/used/operating machines that I could go pump quarters into instead of saving up money for 1 pin that I can afford. I honestly have never played 98% of the pinball machines out there, and the ones that I do play reside in my house and my mom's house because we have pumped thousands of dollars into them to be able to do so.
Times have changed, and until arcades are once again a viable money-making public entity that creates a demand for hundreds of multiple machines to be made every year, there simply isn't a market for them. Botique companies are appealing to the smaller masses because the pinball community itself is a small sub-set of the general public. The general public has no interest in pumping thousands of dollars into one game that requires constant maintenance and/or breaks and has to be returned or maintained (see The Pin) when they can get a PS3/XBox/Wii/Vita and play games on it, or simply download Pinball Arcade on their iPhone and pay less than $5 per table. I've told a few friends how much money I've spend just on JP sitting in my house and/or how much my mom has spent on the 4 machines she's bought in the last 9 months, and they think we are insane. Pinball collectors as a general group ARE insane, but that's what makes the hobby interesting and fun.
EDIT- closing thought
Just because we all want to be able to play the newest and coolest machines and have the chance to own one for our very own does not mean that there is a viable market that would support this.
Supply and demand. Period.