I'm with Howie - I always loved them but thought they were super expensive and never really looked into it. A new Ducati shop had a both at the local Bike Show last year and I spent about an hour talking with them about various models, and followed up with several trips to their shop, and a few demo rides. If anything the internet almost disuaded me from it - reading various reliability horror stories etc.
I first made wood for a monster dark when I saw one parked outside a house I take care of sometimes. There's a B&B there, and the couple who were staying there showed up on the dark and a BMW. But it was the internet that helped me identify and further develop my lust for that sexy machine. ;D My uncle planted the seed long ago. He was largely responsible for turning me onto riding. One of his bikes was a Ducati 851 Superbike.
I first saw a couple of Ducatis and thought they were cool and VERY different. Gave me the idea that it might be time for another bike, so I got a couple of books on Ducati. I was hooked and bought one shortly thereafter. No Internet needed. That was in 1994.
Even though I've been on the internet since before there were Netscape or Internet Explorer browsers (remember Mosaic?), and have used internet news groups for nearly 20 years now, I did no internet searching when I finally decided to get my Monster.
I had given up motorcycles for nearly 10 years, with a brief interruption when I had a DR350 that my son traded to me for some college tuition. I decided to get back into motorcycling, but didn't want a pure sport bike with full fairing, but wanted something interesting. There was nothing available from Japan that excited me in any way. I had read about the Monster in 1993 when it was first introduced, and thought maybe it was what I was after, but didn't bother to find a Ducati dealer to look at one.
Then in the spring of 1997 when I was helping my son deliver the sunday paper, I occasionally noticed a neighbor pulling out of the neighborhood on one. It was way too loud, and it took several sightings to figure out what it was. Then finally I caught him cleaning it before his Sunday ride and had a good look at the Monster up close. I thought it was one of the most beautiful bikes I had ever seen. I was immediately hooked. Then I found out where the Ducati dealers were and started convincing myself to buy one. It took about two months to make up my mind that it was just the bike I was looking for.
By the time I had decided, all of the red ones had sold and I didn't want yellow or black, or a silver 750. I started calling all of the dealers within 150 miles and finally tracked down the one I bought in Fresno at Wilson's, 160 miles away. I've never enjoyed a bike as much as the Monster (and I'm currently on motorcycle #18 ).
Then I started using the internet to learn everything that I could about Ducatis and Monsters. So when Thomas Alberti started the DML e-mail list, I was ready to join right away, and here I still am.
....Or were you just looking for a simple yes or no answer? 8)
I just stumbled across my Monster in a dealer while I was casually shopping for a bike after 21 years away from them. No internet involved in finding it. Decided I had to have it.
But... The internet was a real help in finding the market value of the bike to argue the dealer down, and to convince me that the shop mechanic was truthful in telling me the clutch really is supposed to sound like that. ;D
I have wanted a Ducati since I was a kid. The first time I had a chance to see one in detail was in an issue of Automobile Magazine They had a red Ferrari 308/328 shootout against a red Paso. I was only about 12 years old but the bug stuck.
I wanted a 916 the very first time I saw one when I was a freshman in high school. Exactly 10 years later I was able to purchase my first Duc, being the Monster. My lust for Ducati's has been pretty long running...