Think back to the early 2000s when Stern was the sole supplier putting out fairly cheap, clip art games . . .
We can all complain and I am one of them . . .
Am I upset at Stern, that my home Star Wars LE does not have a real backglass, lighted side rails, etc. and board burned out due to a code update, my Star Wars Premium looks weak next to the Star Trek Premium by its side in my arcade, Ghostbusters has unfinished code, Iron Maiden / Batman Coil Stops needed to be replaced after a few thousand plays because they are crappy . . .
Or at Jersey Jack because my Wizard of Oz sat in the back of the arcade waiting for parts weeks on end or the POTC CE has had more issues (auto fire, broken springs, etc.) than you can shake a stick at . . .
Am I disappointed that my Houdini is worth less than I paid for it? Not really . . .
My point is that a rising tide raises all ships. We now have multiple suppliers each pushing each other to do great things.
I purchased Houdini, because I loved that AP (Josh) was the only vendor really present at the Denver Show that was willing to interact with the public. I loved that they interacted on pinside with code / repair issues. Have I had a few challenges out of the box or been frustrated with the game? Sure. But, it is a beautiful game with great powder coat, toys, challenge, light show, code, etc.
I also took the challenge that "the game is too tough". I feel I'm a better than average player and felt that learning to make tight shots would make me a better player (it has). There are tons of ways to play this game and it is loads of fun. I sold my Theatre of Magic (got bored fast) for this game and do not regret it all.
Perhaps I could have waited and purchased a 2nd hand one cheaper. Buy as a collector and arcade operator, I'm happy to support a company pushing the limits and trying new things. Long live Pinball