To me it doesn't matter much what's inside the cab. And most everyone here knows I prefer modern hardware anyways.
So.. IMHO to get the original 80's experience there's a lot of stuff that needs to be done. You need:
Arcade games of the period
Music of the period
Most likely be dating or discovering women
Be transitioning out of grade school, high school, or mom's basement
Having cool computer hardware to look forward to
Have a social area in the arcade itself
Have neon lighting and dark carpeting
Have the clean electric oxygen smell
Be able to enjoy the transition from walking in the mall to walking into the arcade
Anticipation of new games, especially movie tie-ins, or new vector stuff
Anticipation of consoles that could be as powerful as the arcade
A certain innocence
All of that has to come together and perhaps more.
Those are just aesthetics. To have the same urgency as when I was twelve, you'd need a bunch of other things:
URGENCY. You don't get to spend all day in here, your time is limited and you don't get to visit as often as you'd like.
SCARCITY. You have maybe $5.00 (20 quarters) to spend, and when it's gone, it's gone
NOVELTY. Some of these games you've never seen before, which is exciting, and there's no way you'd be able to take them home with you
EPHEMERAL. The games get switched out from time to time, and it's outside your control. You are the ants in Sim Ant. Food drops from the sky, you don't know or care where it comes from.
MYSTERY. No internet. Maybe some pulpy magazines with muddy screen shots. Playground lore. No wikipedia.
In other words, forget that stuff. I prefer the present day.