Seems that this is the "synth origin stories" thread. So here's mine. My first encounter with synthesized music was when a grade-school teacher played "Popcorn" in class. This was in '69, '70 or '71 (can't pin it down more precisely). I don't know why it was played in class but it lead me to discover Walter (at the time) Carlos and Tomita, then a few years later Tangerine Dream, Jarre, Vangelis and Synergy (Larry Fast). Synergy in particular was a revelation since I was already leaning toward rock, having started from a mostly classical background. All during high school these artists shared my turntable along with Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Genesis, ELP, Queen, Kansas, Yes, Rush, Saga, FM (the last three are Canadian), etc. (and the classical stuff - hadn't abandoned that!). Not too long after I added Kraftwerk and THAT lead me to discover what ended up being called New Wave and "synthpop" in the early eighties just as I was graduating from university.
All through that time I lusted after the synthesizers I was hearing on those albums and reading about in Keyboard magazine. I spent an inordinate amount of time in libraries learning about music synthesis. I rented a Roland SH-5 for a month or so to play with. I built my own admittedly primitive synthesizer (with a step sequencer) and entered it into a science fair (only got an honorable mention). I bought my first synth in '89, a Roland D-10. By that time all the analog synths were history and the local music stores only carried digital models. Of the few multi-timbral synths they carried the D-10 (and more expensive D-20) had the most analog-like synthesis, which was the main reason I chose it (the D-50 sounded better, of course, but it was at best only bi-timbral). Today we recognize that those D-series synths had an early form of virtual-analog synthesis.
I never saw a need to buy another hardware synth (I'm clearly no gearslut) until the XW-P1 came along. What it offered was just too good and the price too low to pass up. I figured if I didn't like it I could sell it quick again and not be out much. What can I say? It's staying.