Rikimaru and Ayame: They both rock, and Ayame's a cutie that will slit your throat at a moment's notice. Each has a different story, even though the areas are the same. Also cool about Ayame: Actually is from a natural looking woman mold and not the Mai Shiranuai "Me Bouncy!" look.
The levels: Long and winding enough, but the perfect difficulty to get through. Plus, each level has three scenarios to get through with different placement for enemies, so the replayability is high.
The weapons: The grappling hook is your friend. The poison rice ball is your friend. The steel bear trap is funny.
The kills: Nothing better than decaps that look like you're poppin' a zit.
What didn't work:
The bosses: *WAY* too easy. I mean, as long as you know how to block, have enough energy sake, and hand-eye coordination, you'll get through.
The camera: It's ok, but could have been a bit better.
You might want to check auctions. There are many sites online that you can get info about upcoming arcade auctions. Also ebay may garner some luck, if you cant get the machine, you can at least get the arcade board and build your own cabinet.