Good question. I had one and I was way too young to have bought it myself. My birthday is kind of close to Xmas so I think it was one of those "we got you a nice gift for both" kind of deals, but I don't remember which relative forked up the cash. I was probably about 7 or 8 years old. I bought my game gear with some acting dough I scored though.
I never had the original gameboy mostly because it's older than I am but I did have a gameboy color and i loved that thing it was big the screen was small and the games weren't actually in color not to mention the screen wasn't lit and you had to be in a light room tilting it toward the light.
I did have a lot of the pokemon original gameboy games on it though those were pretty fun even if they weren't in color like at all.