Well, did not see a thread on this subject so I thought I would start one. In between my other passions, which include speakers, amps, headphones, and photography, I got introduced to mame (multi arcade machine emulator) last year. The rest is history. The idea that I could have every classic video game that I ever played as a kid on one machine in my basement was enough to drive me to build a such a system. I still can't believe I convinced my wife to let me build it.
So I started with an old lethal enforcer full size arcade cabinet that was in pretty rough shape that I got for a decent price. It was banged up, had half the stickers, no marquee, and maybe half a control panel. The inside was also a disaster with a half fried power supply, a monitor in which the tube was gone, and a mess of wires. Luckily the glass was mint so I did not have to hunt for a replacement. The coinbox was also in decent shape and I managed to salvage both coin slots. A couple LED lights behind the slots gave it the authentic arcade look. I took me about 2 months to get this guy back in decent shape. Wood, wood-filler, lots of paint, and patience prevailed.
For the controller, I decided to keep it simple and went with an x-arcade dual joystick. Very easy to plug in to your pc, works out of the box with mame, and it fit almost perfectly with only minor mods to my cabinet. The rest of the hardware consists of a dual core IBM refurb mated to a 21" CRT monitor. With some careful positioning it sits at almost the perfect angle to my glass and a custom cut bezel takes care of the rest.
For sound I've got pioneer SA-6800 amp driving 4 speakers (realistic minimus), two of which are on top behind the bezel pointing down, while the other two are sitting near the bottom of the cab.
The last bit was a custom cut marquee from gameongraphics.
As for software, I'm using Mala on the front end with a layout I customized from one that you can download from their site.
At last count, I've got about 250 classic games running on it. Everything from donkey kong tomortal kombat, and all the stuff in between. I've got some pics, but just can't find em at the moment, will post those soon.
Anyone else waste a bunch of time and money on such an endeavor? Well worth it, my kids love it. I currently have the high score at galaga in our household.