The machine has been up and running for some time now so it's time for my final post. Here are some reflections and advice.
I was not prepared for how long and how frustrating the software setup would be. Most people had an easier time of it but in retrospect I would have started setting up the software much earlier in the process. It's tough to have a cabinet ready to go and still be working out kinks in the software.
The cabinet was a lot of money. I wish I had kept better track of it. Those little things add up quickly.
So far every kid that has set foot in my house (and most adults) fell in love with the machine. It is a huge crowd pleaser and gets a ton of play any time people come over. Although most kids are more fascinated with the coin mechs and coin door than Donkey Kong.
Donkey Kong is hard. Especially for kids. Make sure Pac-Man is on your machine.
Make sure that all of your games track save data. I was not prepared for my younger brother to come over one day, drink some beers, and do amazing things with Pengo.
The cabinet it really big and really heavy. Really prepare for this.
And on the obvious plus side, the cabinet is really, incredibly cool and a ton of fun. Unlike today's games, playing these arcade games is such a small time commitment that it's easy to fit in some gaming any time. It's nice to have a game that you can play for just ten minutes while dinner is cooking or when your mom calls.
If you've got extra time, extra money, and extra space you should build one.
Good luck. E-mail if you need me.