Emulation is where it’s at, for me. I still have old hardware, and enjoy using it when I can, but I get less fuss with RetroArch. But my setup is built around emulation with a Raspberry Pi tucked away, and recently I just hooked my CRTs up to my secondary display port on my PC with a nice HDMI-to-Composite adapter, so now I can just press Start+P four times to output to just those, then open RetroArch. The scaling is great with little to no bleed over.
It might not be accurate, but it’s faster, less fussy, and I don’t have to worry about things like floppy drives breaking down and whatnot. Sticking with RetroArch for most things, and using separate emulators for more options with others, like PCSX2 for PS2, the stand alone versions of emulators for PC88 and 98 games, Dolphin for GC/Wii, has been pretty convenient. Wii specifically gets a nice glow-up for a lot of games in emulation.
Emulation in general has always had me in its grip when I first tried it on I think an Intellivision emulator that was on a MacAddict shareware disc? Eventually my father would get Connectix Virtual PC for his Power Mac. From there I could play a Windows copy of Sonic CD, and eventually find Genecyst to relive my time with the Sega Channel playing Gunstar Heroes, Pulseman and Sparkster. It felt like magic to me.
It’s great! I also love what’s happening with FPGA. It’s awesome, more accurate, and fancy, but emulation is easier to get a hold of, and super flexible with less worry about putting any wear on older hardware.