If you picked up a cabinet that fully works and has the controls for the games you want I would try one of the ** in 1 boards because they are so easy and relatively cheap.
The problem I have is the games that I want are never going to be on a ** in 1 board. So I needed to go the PC direction so I could get all of the games I wanted.
I initially pained myself to use an original CRT monitor with an Ultimate arcadeVGA board to run the monitor. I wanted to run a vertical monitor to run the older games that I love. That orientation limits the frontend software that you can easily use. On top of that if the games you want have resolutions that are very different you will get vertical rolling of the image. You will have to reach in behind the monitor and adjust the vertical hold pot on the monitor to stabilize the image when you change games. Perhaps someone else figured this out, but I could not find anyone who could help me solve that problem that did not involve physically adjusting the monitor between game changes.
After fighting with that for a long time I just installed a standard aspect ratio LCD computer monitor and used the ultimarc arcadeVGA board to run it. I am sure the image looks different, but it does not look different enough to be noticeable to me or any of my other friends the had long misspent youths in arcades.
All told I was in about $1K by the time I had all of the controllers I wanted (joystick, trackball, buttons, etc.), a good tower built, video cards, monitor, etc. Not including all of the time to learn and program the software (putting on the games (and versions) that I wanted and getting the orientation, resolution correct, inputs from the controllers calibrated).
If you can find someone reasonably locally who can build what you want, I think it would be a bargain since I see many MAMEs for sale for about the same price as what it cost me and they would hopefully be working correctly. If you know nothing about MAME machines you will have a lot of time to learn about the emulators and frontend software that is probably not worth learning about unless you have a passion for such things. If you just want to enjoy the old games I would buy a finished MAME from someone who put in the time to learn to build and program them.