I use MAME differently than you I'm pretty sure. You can sort games by name, company, date, but usually I sort entries by 'sound'. For a guy like me, its both salivating and dangerous... for my finances.
There are a few sound chip gems that are only found on obscure PCBs. However, a side effect of the omnipresence of MAME is to somewhat lower the price on used game PCBs on Ebay. Why would you have this 20+ year old board around in a wooden box when you can play the game on your PC or some MAME'ed cabinet?
When you're a sound chip freak its not a question of course. Since I cant put myself to loan a van just to shove an Arcade cabinet into the office (not that it wouldn't be nice to have a Shinobi or Splatterhouse around). It just wouldn't be convenient.
I'm contemplating starting a collection of PCBs, to get new chips, but also just to get a few spares. Recently I acquired a 10$ game from a local Ebay seller, a really crappy Jap quiz game to get an extra YM2413.
Friday after work, bored, Ok should I trash this board and get the chip from it? Or, wait a minute... there must be something to play this thing for cheap! And of course there is ... A SuperGun!
Two minute googling and I found this very well done document on building a home made JAMMA harness. Cool, but i just want to HEAR the intro tune, not to see and play it!
I had about 5 more or less useless PC casings at home, so I looked around for one which had a suitable PSU (read working +5v,-5v +12v). (it allowed me to sort through them at last and thrash two deabeats, ... missus is happy)
15 Minutes soldering and it worked.
That is JUST a test of course, I'll surely hook all that with two joysticks an fake coin slots on the PC case in the future. And of course proper video outs.
Or.. maybe I should go back to sound R&D...