It's a bit of a philosophical question, but it's one that has been on my mind lately. Some general advice that I've heard (outside of pinball) is "spend money on experiences-not things".
Now, for some additional context. I've enjoyed playing pinball since I was a kid. And now, as an adult, I continue to have fun playing pinball on location. I like to talk pinball with anyone that also enjoys the game.
However, I've never owned my own machine before. After much deliberation (and negotiating with the wife) I'm about to buy my first machine- a NIB ghostbusters pro. I've played it on location in a few places, and I've had a blast. I would imagine that having my own machine will give me: the convenience to play when I want, the ability to dial back the difficulty a bit (it's a hard game and I'm a lousy player), and the enjoyment of sharing my hobby with friends and family.
Since many of you have your own machines, you probably have them because they bring you happiness. But when you made the switch from non-owner, to acquiring your first machine - is there anything that about the process that decreased your happiness? Likewise, were there any unanticipated benefits to having your own machine? Anything insightful that you can share with "non-owners" such as myself (and others new to the hobby) would be appreciated.