You have been warned. Throwing in a dash of humor...
Okay, to be honest I was originally going to get a C64 to go with my TRS-80 Color Computer 2, Amiga 1200, and Atari 800xl. Then I priced them on Ebay (expensive) and heard about all kinds of hardware issues, shady sellers, bad chips, bad power supplies, dogs and cats living together, etc. Maybe I was being paranoid, but there is nothing I HATE more than a hassle and I avoid them at all costs. There seemed to be tons of "untested" C64s on Ebay, and I'm sure we all know what "Untested" means. I love the history, success, and variety the C64 brings to the table, but for now my C64 curiosity will be quenched via emulation.
Enter the TI/99. It was a system I was familiar with because a friend of mine had a second hand one from a garage sale when we were kids. I remember being pissed because his TI/99 had more memory than my COCO2.
One thing I have learned is that the best things to collect for your wallet are those that have low demand but high supply. For me, this is fun. I casually collect staplers, typewriters, adding machines, old cameras etc. As far as old computers, this seems to be what the TI/99 has going for it. Inexpensive and 'unpopular', but still has enough going for it to be interesting. A Mattel Aquarius or Emerson Arcadia it is not. I just ordered a fully functional one in nice shape with games and joysticks for $65 shipped. Hell yeah!!! The TI/99 seems to have a great bang for the buck. Plus, unlike anything Commodore ever made the black and silver model simply looks bad assed - the computer Darth Vader would use. From what I have heard it also has reliability to match it's appearance. I purposely avoided the beige TI/99, it reminds me of a shitty Packard Bell 486sx POS from 1993.
Anyway, it's nice to join the club. Once my TI/99 is set up I'm totally getting the SD cartridge I read about. The TI/99 seems like the perfect system for me: Great value, lots of software, awesome 1970s appearance, well built, affordable, cult classic, underdog etc. If anyone has advice to offer, fire away. I'm happy to report my TI/99 will be coming with Joysticks and Parsec.