My initial requirement was based on size. Having a small cabinet meant that using a reasonable sized CRT was out of the questions because of the depth required to house it. Since I had an extra LCD panel, it was placed into service, and the resulting design was largely based around the LCD monitor and the control panel by X-gaming. Second consideration was the limited space available in my car for transporting sheets of wood. Home depot only sold cut sheets 24x48 inches and I didn't want the hassle of having them make cuts for me. Aesthetically I wanted a typical profile, and drew out lines that matched what I remembered how an arcade machine looked like in the 80's. I drew reference from many cabinets made by others, and tried to incorporate what I liked and what was needed. The main characteristic of my unit is firstly the small size, but secondly the main shelf that extends 2 inches in front of the cabinet to accomodate current and any future control panels, and also extends all the way to the rear of the cabinet to support the monitor.
Also when designing your cabinet, one needs to take into consideration hardware needed for things like castors, hinges for access doors, proper wood screws for marque clips, buttons for on/off, exhaust for monitor and cpu, how to mount bezel, wiring.
I'll try to document all these little decisions as this web site develops.
Thanks for visiting, Ted