I'm 34 (in a month, that should be about 4 years collecting), so pinball was everywhere when I was a child, but of course progressively disappeared until mostly being forgotten. Eventually saw something about a pinball/arcade show on FB, and then downloaded Pinball Arcade. Would have my first couple pins very soon after (during a trip to TPF). I knew I already loved the physical aspect of it, but Pinball Arcade is what brought it all back, and what first brought me into the deeper rules side of pinball. Pinside didn't hurt either, but Pinball Arcade was perhaps the main gateway that made it easy to experience many different games from home. As I observe at the local barcade and with people that first play pinball here--many people are shy about touching a pin in front of other people for the first time (being judged, etc.). It's possible that digital is the better gateway to build confidence. I've now had a few people completely cast out pinball, thinking they're all the same, mindless flipping, etc. etc., then become addicted once they give it a chance.
Unfortunately there is no local league here. I think that sort of thing would help if it were available in more locations.
EDIT: As a side-note, barcades and shows (to a lesser extent) are awful ways to discover pinball. Far too often, location pins are impossible to hear and aren't working properly (many times in ways that the average player won't realize). This sours pinball right off the bat. Went to the Replay Museum in Tarpon Springs recently and couldn't believe how many machines were in an unplayable state (was my 2nd time there, but this last experience will keep me from going back).
If it weren't for Pinball Arcade, I would never have known how engaging a pinball experience was designed to be (really a shame that they're usually only ever discovered in an environment that destroys all immersion, particularly when many games have fairly necessary callouts).