I've been playing with the monitor, and I think the brightness will look fine. It's definitely a lot more like the crappy old fish and chip shop machines that I used to play. Mitch actually suggested I call it the Chippie, since that's where most of the machines are these days. It's something to think about, along with the artwork that will eventually cover up the cab's imperfections. I've gone off the silver fern idea, I think I must have been feeling patriotic that day or something. I drew a few New Zealand Story characters a month or two ago, but I think they look a little Japanese. It's a shame, because as vector graphics you can scale them to any size without losing details. I'm sure I can find another use for them.
Also, I just added up all my receipts so far. Everything from tools, sandpaper and paint to computer, speakers and joysticks has cost $2787.49. Around $2000 is materials and the other $700 odd is the tools.
There are definite disadvantages living 2200km from your parents!