Well, with absolutely no fanfare, here's my recently finished cab. (Thanks to everyone, especially Youki, for helping me get it running.
While on hiatus for a month I came across a free busted up Golden Axe cab on Craigslist. I decided to see how little I could spend and still get something worth owning. I ended up spending about 500 bucks (and many hours - I had no idea what I was doing) all in. The hardware is as follows:
P4 dualcore 3.0Ghz, 1gig RAM, 19" CRT
2 Omnistick Prodigy 4/8 way joysticks
1 Electric Ice-T Trackball (powered by LEDWiz)
1 Apache push/pull spinner
P1: 6 buttons (with LEDs) plus 4 for Left Handers
P2: 6 buttons (with LEDs)
3 Trackball (mouse) buttons
8 additional buttons (P1 start, coin, etc.)
Running Mame 110 with the full romset including CHDs.
AtomicFE with the Arcades PnP module
Custom built control panel from Jack in New Jersey, who did an amazing job and should charge more.
It's really beat up, but completely solid. After I tried and failed to fix the water damage I decided to let it stay the way I found it. The controller is pristine, but in keeping with the spare look I didn't put any graphics under the bezel. It plays amazingly well, sucks at least 10 people away all night when we have parties, and because my wife love Road Blasters she fully approves.
The next plan is to install a HiDef projector in the same room, so I can pipe the video output onto a huge wall and maybe mix it in with some other strange visuals through some kind of video DJ software. I figure more people might get a kick out of being in the room when they're not playing...