> I am new to MAME and I am in the planning stages of buying all my components for my
> first MAME. I will be using a Raspberry Pi running wheezy
You'd be much happier with a fanless HTPC and a modern ULV Intel processor - that would enable running a MAME build made after 2001 (and playing games we've added support for after that date) as well as more modern stuff like Dolphin and DEMUL. The RPi has about the CPU power of an original Pentium from 1995, and emulators did not run very well on those
Regarding joysticks, the iPac's reason for being is precisely to allow connecting arcade controls to a PC, no other hardware is necessary. The specific type of joystick to use depends strongly on what games you intend to play most: Pac-Man and Street Fighter II indicate very different answers, for instance.