For myself, I started collecting 11-12 years ago, initially there was a local dealer who often got new games and I was able to buy and trade every so often. But after 4-5 years he left the area. I did not really know about Pinside, although I was a member I never looked here, I didn't know or have contact with the community so when that one guy left the area, I was stuck with 5 games for a number of years. Call it 5 years with the same 5 games.
Those were IJ, TZ, TOTAN, CFTBL and POTC. Over time, I must have got tired of the same 5 games and also there were some intermittent bugs or issues and finally some of the games didn't work at all. Also during this period, I didn't play much and was more out of the hobby than at any point.
Finally, I said to myself, maybe sell the pins and get back some money. But as I did that, I found Pinside again and found that a lot had changed in those 5 years. I found out about WoZ (still in the planning stage) and AcDc had just come out and XM was just about to come out. I also found out that my old pins were worth about what I paid (maybe more).
I could have fixed those older pins but as I'd had some 10 years at the time, I elected to sell all my older pins (also the ones that were not working as well) and kept Potc which was the only one I had bough new so it was still 99% like new.
I got XMLE, Tron, AcDc premium, SM, STLE, IMVE and TSPP (to add to my POTC).
This all occurred over 3 years, and I play more than ever. I still don't play a ton, but I have such a big collection, that I can not really get tired of my games. I mean if I am tired of PotC for example, I won't play it for a few weeks and then get back on it for a few games.
I got back a good deal of money from my 4 old games (almost enough to buy 3 new games).
I am much better at understanding the rules now, so I'm more interested in trying stuff out and keeping the games I have. I don't have one that I'd like to sell. I would like to buy more, but realistically 8-9 is all I think I need. At least because I don't play a ton. I could keep each game another 5-10 years easy so they are keepers to me. The time may come when my saturation point hits and I don't want to add any more (maybe that's 9 total) and then I'll need to think about selling some to get new pins. But for now it's all aces.
I do appreciate that pins, while expensive, not gonna lie. But at least I feel that I'm not throwing money away like I feel with my pool or hot tub where the end result is a pool that costs ungodly amount of money every year and does not get used a ton, and a hot tub is something that is used rarely as well, but I won't see a fraction of the price if I wanted to get rid of it.
I have had a nice car (several) and to me, they are not really worth the costs. I'd rather have basic transportation and nice pinball collection then have a really nice car and no pins.