I've been struggling with the decision of purchasing a Pin for my home and keep revisiting one important aspect of owning a machine. Maintenance. After visiting a few different Barcades in my area, one thing has become quite clear. They will ALL eventually fail. Out of five different machines at one place, each one had an issue that affected normal gameplay. Metallica's multiball didn't automatically shoot the balls, Medieval Madness had a troll that wouldn't pop, Attack from Mars was completely down, Pabst Can Crusher wouldn't take tokens, etc.
Living in the Chicago burbs, there are a lot of great Barcades around. Galloping Ghost in Brookfield is expanding their pinball room. Logan Arcade in Chicago has a ton of machines and a great selection of beer. All can be played without the concern for having to make repairs when something goes wrong.
Are my concerns of costly maintenance invalid? My experience with electronics are limited to building a few computers and making repairs to my washing machine on occasion. I am not afraid of tinkering but I do admit, opening a pinball machine and seeing all those boards and wiring is a bit overwhelming. Older machines are apparently more "service friendly" while newer releases and remakes seem to be made like everything else nowadays, disposable. Buy an older machine and get ready to start making repairs. Buy a new machine and play, but after the warranty expires, good luck!
Any advice or insight on the costs of maintaining a pin at home? My interests are machines from the 90's on up to current releases. Appreciate any help.