I wanted to get into pinball for a long time, but I was intimidated by the complications of all the electronics and mechanical bits. I didn't know the first thing about them, not really enough to even know what questions to ask.
Then I got into early virtual pinball stuff, and built my own cab. That helped me learn a lot, or at least learn enough to know what questions to ask, and I graduated to physical games. The virtual pin got sold pretty quickly after that, once I had the real thing it just lost all appeal. I still think they're a good gateway, or something to just enjoy for what they are, but not for me anymore.
I played my new pinball friend's The Shadow and knew I wanted one as my first game. My friend told me to be patient, but I didn't want to be (we've all been there) so I paid to ship one down from Oregon. IIRC was a $2800 game with $400 in shipping. Still have it, and that's the game a lot of people know me for, if I ever sell it I think that's probably the sign I'm exiting the hobby.
I didn't find one locally for years after that, never regretted shipping one down. $3200 for a Shadow still sounds pretty good.
I don't move games in and out like some people, but I did keep buying games and learning about different eras. I think at my peak I had 11 games at once, mostly used, a couple NIB games, which isn't crazy compared to some people, but a respectable collection. I'm down to 3 now, and flirting with maybe adding another, but we'll see. It's not so easy these days to add them.
I try and focus on just having fun. Playing games I like. Doing mods that bring me happiness to make. When I had too many games and too many interests that needed space I let a bunch go. Part of that was the post-Alien funk sucking some of the fun out too. I'm over that now, so yeah, maybe another game or two would be nice. But I've learned bigger collections aren't for me, I only want what I can play, not rows of games that are pretty but too much to keep up with.