When I started a couple years ago at 24 I did not know paintball existed to the extent that it does. I shot a Talon once or twice in someone's back yard and that was it. I found a group of guys who played in one's back yard on craigslist. I went and played with them, they were all milsim, everyone used a 98 or a5 and they were "the best guns ever". The guy who's house it was had an e-grip and he loved to shoot paint. So I wanted big fast guns, I bought a 98 as my first gun and shortly after a pro-carbine. After playing with them for a fall/winter I eventually found local fields on the internet (there was 4 within 2 hours of me). The guys I played with didn't even know about them nor could I get them to come out afterwards.
I played a local scenario for my first game at a legit field with about 100 people. I was blown away by how great it was and never went back. I did the tippmann thing, tac vest, etc. for a few months but was impressed by a team of pump players that was always doing work. So I bought my first sniper, absolutely loved it and started playing pump exclusively.
Now I play pump and mech only as part of that team that influenced me. I probably shoot like 3 bps at my fastest, rarely carry more than 2 pods and can play a whole day on half a case or less. My gun collection is all older and consistently growing (partly thanks to MCB).