Pinball Table First Steps

The discussion of the Pinball Arcade ipad game (which I've briefly played and really enjoyed) has me thinking about getting the real thing for my home. Can someone suggest a good first step in order to learn more/decide on new vs. used/consider sources etc?

Don't! It is like owning a boat.

However if you manage to get a Twilight Zone machine, lemme know, I will bring a cold six.

A good place to start, though expensive, would ne a trip to a barroom or billiard store. There are a few places near me that sell well kept used, new, tables, arcade machines, etc.

My suggestion would be to contact an establishment that has them and ask who they get their machines from. Locally, we have a large company that puts most of the games into bars and other establishments under a rental contract. I'm sure you could purchase from the company as they tend to remove their older games from their inventory.

Here's how it works in our town:
There are two or three guys that route machines. They operate as little satellites to a larger coin op company that does more vending and laundry type stuff than pool tables and games, but if you put coins in it they touch it. From car washes to gum ball machines. This company is linked to a larger body which deals in equipment. That company has auctions for used machines, sells parts and supplies new.

Here it's the few routers, Reagent coin op, then Starburst who have monthly auctions of old arcade and pinball cabinets.

The auctions are cool. I've never been but looked into it when I wanted a super chexx machine. You go, put down a deposit, go in to view and test machines, then later walk around and bid on each auction by machine. This is in Toronto. Enthusiasts actually track and publish lists of sales and the prices.

This was probably all modeled on an industry standard. The system should have similarities where you are.