My journey started 10-15 years ago, when I bought an XEGS from an eBay seller. I have used that XEGS as a cartridge console gamine system, with classic favorites such as Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Defender, Joust, and of course Missile Command. Until recently, this was my only Atari system.
I wanted an Atari 2600 since I first saw one in 1977. My parents were opposed to video games, so I never got one. Instead, I sometimes played at friends' houses.
Similarly, I wanted an Atari 800 since I first saw one in 1979. My father worked at IBM, so we instead had IBM PCs. I bought a PCjr after their release in 1984, and I never got that Atari 800 I wanted.
Two years ago, I bought a 2600 from a local seller on Craigslist. It came with about 20 games, and I have been enjoying it ever since.
A few weeks later, I bought an 800, 600XL, 800XL, a 410, and an 850 off a local seller on eBay.
The 600XL is LNIB, and I wonder if it was ever used other than for the eBay seller to test it.
The 800XL powers up to a black screen, and I am in the process of repairing it. At this point I think all it needs is new RAM, which I will purchase from The Brewing Academy.
The 800 was in pretty good shape, but some of the keys did not work. I ended up buying a second 800 from a local Craigslister, and cobbling together a single good system. I then modified it with an Incognito board, and the 800 has been my main 8-bit Atari system since I completed that mod.