I grew up with a ZX81 (with a dodgy tape interface that made saving my programs difficult).
I first encountered the Spectrum circa 1983 on a visit to friends of my parents', in Garstang, Lancashire. I spent hours in a state of gobsmacked wonder, using the CIRCLE, INK, PAPER and BORDER commands to explore the new world, feeling like Dorothy entering the technicolor Land of Oz for the first time.
I was lucky enough to be given a Spectrum+ for - I think - Christmas 1984, at a price of 179.99 (and kids, that was a lot of money back then). So many happy memories.
Sorry for the unfocused rambling, but this article's been kind of a madeleine moment for me.