Well I have to say I'm attracted to early machines that are super basic in design and construction. The earlier and the more simple the more attractive they are for me. The fact that the case is very 'home made' looking makes it just awesome. So Terry, I'd have to say it's all of the above.
I also collect original early video game boards (the ones that I have great memories of when I was a kid eg. midway Space invaders, scramble, galaxian, galaga etc) that I hook up to a controller called a 'supergun' which is basically an arcade machine in a box (PSU, controllers, coin buttons, video circuit etc). One of my favorite boards is Tank from 1974 by a company called Kee (later to become Atari). It consists of two large boards populated with nothing but TTL chips. The only other chip is a graphics ROM. and this was the first time ever that a ROM was used to generate graphic elements in a game. A breakthrough!!!!
I love this game because of it's simplicity, but the game actually rocks! The experience is very analog, and feels nothing like modern tech. In fact all the sounds are generated through analog circuits, and it just feels nothing like modern digital machines. I guess what I'm trying to say is that old stuff just feel more real, more tangible, and more human...strange thing to say maybe.
You can see my Kee Tank game here, and how I hooked it up to regular JAMMA controllers, and of course how I fixed it.http://web.mac.com/lord_philip/Arcade/1 ... _Tank.html