Well the F-14 I brought to Expo was in use pretty much non-stop from Thurs thru Sunday afternoon. What does that tell you?
Mechanically, it is a tank, it hardly ever breaks down on me. I mean seriously; in the years I have had it I've replaced a broken link, the rubber drive belts and a couple e-clips that fell off the diverters. That's pretty much it -- maybe $25 bucks worth of parts.
Two years ago at A-town the high-voltage section of the power supply board blew which in turn blew out some of the chips that drive the displays, forcing me to invest in a Pinscore display. The display is awesome and you can adjust the brightness depending on what room you have the pin in. Three hundred bucks for the new display was hard to swallow but I have a warranty and the folks like Brett @ Pinscore are just fantastic to work with.
Bottom line? Get a nice one. There are nice ones out there. You'll enjoy the game immensely. Heck, if you were closer I'd sell ya mine for a nice price. (I have to reduce my collection by 10 pins between now and next June, in support of a move.... it's proving to be difficult to choose which to sell and which to keep.)