I had never been into Pinball, but about 10 years ago a buddy of mine was talking about building a full sized MAME arcade machine. Being that my favorite video game is Defender I decided that there is no way to have a sufficient control panel in a generic cabinet (I owned one in the 80's)... so I decided to look for one. I brought my daughter with me to check it out and the guy also had a couple other video games and a few pinball machines. All he wanted to talk about is his restoration of his Road Show, and I found it fascinating. I had never been into pinball, but my daughter was interested in playing it more than anything there.
Fast forward a few months and I want to a distributor's open house and again my daughter was enthralled with Road Show... So I decided if I'm going to go into this cold (I hadn't a clue how to lift a playfield), I might as well get one she likes. In the first month or two I learned to repair every aspect of a pinball machine in the first couple of months, from playfield teardowns, bulb replacements, switches, playfield supports, re-soldering light boards, connectors, DMD, etc. In hindsight I overpaid considering the amount of issues, but it turned out to be a great learning experience, and a solid game when I was done.
I had that game for about 5 years, joined by many other games, but sold it simply because it had been around the longest. I have a fondness for the game still, and have made plenty of other hard decisions, but that was my first.