Welcome back TPR! I got into the collecting scene because of my wanting to play Donkey Kong again. I had no idea about emulation, but figured there had to be a flash or downloadable version of DK on the web somewhere. That led to me to M.A.M.E. but then I started thinking about how much I loved the ColecoVision, and wouldn't it be cool to have one again. Here it is 15 years later & I've got more games than I could have ever dreamed of owning as a kid! Your story is very similar to mine, CV was my all-time favorite gaming console. Funny, I was supposed to get one for Christmas '82, but my parents couldn't locate one, so I got a 'note' from Santa explaining how they had run out, I'd need to ask my parents for one for my birthday in March. Longest 3 months of my life waiting for that birthday!
PS I was twelve in 1982, the Santa note was for the benefit of my 6 year old brother who still believed! lol