Quoted from MrMikeman:
I wouldn't call it "normal" but it does happen. Although I've owned many pins in my previous go at his hobby, JP was my first NIB also so I was a bit surprised about the tweaks/"repairs" to do right out of the box but I'm comfortable working on pins so not a big deal for me.
I find too many people make a parallel with buying a car and wanting it to be perfect (mostly because of the high cost involved). I have moved on from that state of mind and accepted that this isn't a collector's item, but a commercial money making device. A better parallel would be if you went out and bought a forklift, or a dump truck. Would you expect it to be perfect? would you go over it with a magnifying glass?
Now I realize some people had major issues with the T-REX (beyond just making adjustments) and that's a different thing. Those are warranty issues and I think in most cases have been dealt with appropriately (unless you expect them to come install the parts in your home)...
As long as there are no major defects that prevents the machine from working or clearly broken items then I don't sweat it. Remember that despite the high cost, it's a choice to buy one of these things. Nobody is being coerced and it certainly isn't a necessity!
Seriously? Of course it's a choice to buy one but how is that different than 95% of any other consumer product for sale? It doesn't excuse a manufacturer from shoddy quality and QC.
No one is saying everything has to be perfect. However, paying 6-9k for a new product and expecting it not to have key parts and components that are potentially defective and will severly diminish the value/resale value of said product out of the gate and in the long term is hardly an unreasonable expectation. All people want is playfield quality on par with what it was industry wide for 20-25 years before Stern started having these issues the past 3 years or so.
Part of the problem with Stern seems to be they think they can continue to cut costs and quality control because enough pinheads will continue to buy their stuff regardless. Making excuses for their diminishing quality will hurt the hobby in the long haul. People who have relied on reasonable resale value for their NIB games will eventually stop buying when they start taking huge hits due to their defective playfields