Personally, of course, I think Model Railroading is the ideal hobby. If I didn't, this web page would probably have a different title. I have been a model railroader since the early 1960s, and over that time have begun construction on three different layouts. It is a proverb among model railroaders that a model railroad is never really finished. Sort of like a web page.
I have also belonged to three different model railroad clubs, and wound up holding offices in each of them. It's not that I'm ambitious or anything. Apparently I'm just not as good at avoiding such things as most other people. I am currently "between clubs."
My present layout, the Hillside & Eastern, is built on a table about 24 inches wide and 22 feet long in my basement, with another area, 36" x 22', in the next room, that I may finish some day.
As far as equipment is concerned, I currently am concentrating on "refining" my collection to eliminate the out-of-period freight cars, starting with the most obvious standouts. This will be a slow process.
Many modelers these days demand fine details such as separate grab irons (those ladder-like things on the sides of cars) or insist that the car's dimensions be exactly correct. Fine details are nice, but for now I prefer durable features. I have one car on which it took me two hours to install the grab irons and fifteen minutes to break one. Right now, I am more concerned that a car's design, colors, and markings are appropriate for the time period I'm modeling, and that it runs well. If it doesn't meet those requirements, I may well modify it so it does.