If I had enough room in my basement I would love to have a true "man cave" like I see them build on those supposedly reality based TV shows. I would love to have the bigger than big screen TV, the well decorated and stocked bar, the array of La-Z-Boy recliners for me and the buds, the deluxe table hockey game, and of course a fantastic pool table with the balls to play snooker, 8 ball and 9 ball.
I have seen Paul Newman as Fast Eddie in The Hustler many times--I even bought my father the book last Father's Day. I love watching those incredible shots the pool sharks make, and I would love to be good at pool. I would love to be able to walk into a pool room, assemble my cue and beat the best in the house. I would love to be a ranked player playing matches on television.
I have loved playing pool since I was a child. I have ventured into pool halls of questionable character, and played at bars. I have always dreamt of having my own table, and my own cue. Nothing marks a person so clearly as a two or three piece cue slung over their back as they are mixing with the huddled masses of the public transportation set.
Of course, there are several obstacles to these dreams. Money and space seem to be the two biggest of them. I could barely fit a 4X8 table in my basement (and then I would probably have to relocate both the television and the train set. So making it a "man cave" seems to be out of the question unless I move to a bigger house, or at least a house with a bigger basement.
As far as money goes. I think if one is going to buy a pool table they should buy a good one. A crappy pool table with thin slate and low quality felt would quickly become old and undesirable. If you have to replace it quickly then it really wasn't worth the money--at least that's how I look at it.
As far as becoming a great player. I would need a lot of practice, and that would eat into my other hobbies. In addition, I am probably too old to ever become great at pool--but at least I would be able to beat my friends when we went out to a bar.