I first discovered emulation by finding out about NESticle. I never was able to have a NES of my own growing up so I was always playing on my friends consoles. I was ecstatic that I could play the NES games on my PC that I always wanted to own.
While talking with a co-worker about emulation, he gave me a 5 DVD set of MAME roms. I was so excited. I had spent so much of my youth in arcades I was overjoyed to be able to play classic arcade games on my PC.
It had always been a dream of mine as a child to have my own arcade machine, and through learning more about MAME I discovered people were building their own game cabs, and through the use of front ends they were able to tie in other emulators as well. I was hooked.
I wanted to build my own controller, but after buying a few pieces to get started I thought it was too daunting so I bought a HotRod SE controller.
When I decided to pick up the project again, between BYOAC and the Ultimarc, MameWah, and Mame boards here at MW I was able to build up my cabinet and quite an impressive emulation collection.
I pretty much only post at the Bin anymore since the cab has been working I haven't had a need to post anywhere else really.
I didn't ever spend much time at the Mame.net boards, since all my questions were answered at MW.