I can really only remember one time I met someone that had a pinball machine that I didn't already know was in the hobby. It was a High Speed purchased more to go with an automotive themed room next to the garage than any innate love of pinball. I like old System 11 games and most people are still shocked by the prices. The price of a new machine would be considered wasteful in the extreme.
I said it in another thread, but I think once 3 or 4 companies are making games again, the market will top out really fast. The home market is carrying the hobby and I just can't picture it supporting the release of five $5,500 to 7,000 games a year (figuring Stern for 2, JJ for 1, and boutique manufacturers like Jpop and Heighway and SkitB for one every couple years). It almost feels like Stern is trying to swamp the market before anyone else gets rolling.