I finally took the plunge and bought myself a home arcade cocktail cabinet - one of the tabletop style ones (one running a PC and mame). I've been looking at getting one for a while now especially as I'd like my kids to have a good look at the classic games.
A guy was selling one on Ebay and happened to be quite local, so I made an offer to buy it and he's agreed, taking it offline. Its a superb cabinet, extremely well made, clean and tidy. It has a 20" flat-screen TFT screen and the output is superb. It also has a 2player side controller config as well as rotational 1 and 2 player controls at the end, for vertical games. I also plan to add a wireless card to it, so I can get stuff on and off the PC easier.
The unit itself is a bargain, coming in at about 1/3 of it's build costs - so I'm treating it as a working investment. I'll add some bezel graphics and art (probably based on PacMan) in the coming weeks and configure the PC to boot into a media selector and tidy it all up so the kids find it easy to operate. Jack's incredibly excited about it all.
The only irony is that driving home, after agreeing to buy the Mame machine, I could only think about the fact that my wife would more than likely maim me when she found out.
As it happens, I'm still alive - but only just :) It'll most likely reside in my room unless I can sneak it into the conservatory.