UPDATE: I ended up buying a TSPP because a good deal ended up appearing a couple days after this discussion and honestly, I was never going to have the patience to wait for THE dream game, so the fact that this one was a good contender, and available in my area, made the decision for me.
1) A pin that I will enjoy. This criteria was satisfied, but let's be honest, this was the easy one.
2) A pin that my friends will enjoy. There has certainly been a little bit of cache about having a big, flashing Simpsons themed game in my house. But so far, it has not really generated much outside interest. Granted I haven't had a party since it's been here so I guess we'll wait to see how it works out on a broader audience. Honestly, in the end, I think it's going to fall short on this criteria. TSPP, as is well known in this crowd, has a wonderfully deep, engaging and challenging rule set, but it seriously lacks an easily explainable and achievable objective for a novice player. Sure there are several apparent things to shoot at, but the main multiball is nearly impossible to flail into and I&S targets are in a pretty counter-intuitive location for a beginner to shoot at and also pretty difficult to intentionally achieve.
Another thing that actually makes this game a bit frustrating for novice and avid players alike is the clunkiness. Missed shots tend to thud against posts and just kind of float around in a really unsatisfying manor. I feel a game with really well designed flow can actually reward a missed shot sometimes by making an unintended shot instead. Or it will punish you by rocketing a missed shot back at your flippers or into an inlane/outlane. This game, not so much.
3) A pin that will not break the bank. TSPP was decidedly not in the original price range I was looking at. But, the power to rationalize is strong. Basically it was a good enough deal that I know I could resell it for what I paid, if not a couple hundred more, very easily. So I guess this criteria was a little more fluid than I originally anticipated. Now the trick is refraining from spending money on unnecessary upgrades that I really want for no reason. The game is in really nice condition, very clearly HUO, but it's all stock. It would look SO good with a color DMD and these sick decals that pinsider u/sillyoldelf created. Buuuuuut.... you know...
So yeah, that's the report. I'm really happy with the game just because it's a new fun toy to play with and the rules are really fun to play through. I've read @bkerins's rule sheet several times and have a very good understanding of the objectives. I sincerely don't think I'll ever get to the actual wizard mode without pulling the glass, but it sure is fun to try. Don't know if I'll keep this one forever (doubtful) but it's great to have around for a while.