I consider myself somewhat of a purist. However, I didn't start out that way. I was building MAME cabinets in 1998 when it was actually a challenge. I want to post more on the subject but need to take a step back to collect my thoughts more...
At one point I owned more MAME cabinets than I owned actual arcades and pins... 4 vs. 3 ;-p
God, the memories and horrors are all coming back to me now. Hacked 1980's clicky style keyboards, DOS MAME, AdvanceMAME, ArcadeOS, PC2ARCADE using an actual arcade monitor, Windows ME, arghh!@.
That was long before you could buy USB adapter boards and reworked VGA cards with HDMI out. I distinctly remember buying some crazy ass PCI VGA cards that produced a 15Khz signal for directly connecting it to an arcade monitor and running the mess all on a PIII PC.
Back in 97, MAME only ran about 150 games. YEAH, that's it.
After building 10-12 MAME cabinets, and playing 1000's of dedicated arcades and 1000's of roms on all sorts of platforms... I only have this wisdom.
If you must make a MAME cabinet, make one that plays the 5 or 6 games that you loved perfectly and that's just about all that you will ever need.
I gravitated towards B/W and color vector games because they were so unique and still collect and mess with them today.