Figured this would be a fun topic and shed some light into the lives of everyone here and their background or experiences with Atari as a whole. Looking forward to hearing everyone's stories!
My first Atari 1040ST I lucked out and found at a local Goodwill for less than $20, which was in incredible deal! Not only was it in really good condition, it also seemed to work flawlessly. Mind you, this was before the eBay and scalper or flipping days where people would buy things just to turn a profit immediately because they knew it was retro/vintage or what have you. I think I only owned the ST for a few years as I didn't have much software and this was before I had learned about LGT, which unfortunately now charges for all downloads. I want to say I remember the disks being downloadable for free at some point but maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. That was my first and last Atari ST and the plan is to get an 4MB STe sometime in the near future to fill that void.
Sometime in early 1999, I received my very first Atari Falcon, which I had always wanted since seeing them in the Toad Computers catalogs around the . At the time, I also had what I was finally happy with as a very fast PC as well - with an AMD K6-II 450Mhz and 64MB of RAM, WinTV card and eventually a 3DFX Voodoo 3 3000 16MB AGP card. Anyways, back to the Falcon - it arrived COD and I had no experience with cash on delivery. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly cash on delivery as I would soon learn lol and they had to re-deliver the next day because only money orders were accepted. So due to my own ignorance, I had to delay it another day. Had that machine for several years and enjoyed the many demos and capabilities of the machine for what I could use before selling it off. It had a BlowUpFX and some other board installed which made it highly incompatible with a lot of the software I wanted to try, as it turned out.
To kind of extend on that story, later on I would end up with yet another Falcon which was also modded unfortunately, as it had a Centurbo II installed and something was wonky with the DSP as a result and I also re-sold this unit as it just had problems. I remember learning from that point on to make sure I would only get another Falcon if it wasn't modded. I would finally end up with a really nice unit sometime in 2001 or 2002, upgrading it myself with an FPU and maxed out the RAM to 14MB. Foolishly, I would sell it years later due to financial constraints and still regret having to had done so.