All of the comments thus far are so very true!! I have a scarlet and a harlequin, both have been with me for their entire lives and are now 18 years old. I spend far too much time now feeling guilty that I don't have enough time for them and it shows in their behavior. When we got them, we lived in Mexico and never thought we'd be back in the states and in this lifestyle with them later. We just re-arranged the whole house last weekend to try to get them more "in the thick of things" as far as the activity in the house goes--one thing for sure is that you want to have a set up for them that is not only large enough, but also not separated from the rest of their "flock", ie; you and the human family! Plus, if you've got little ones/dogs/cats, etc you also have to find a way to protect fingers and noses around the cage. Both of my birds take total delight in getting the dogs riled up and crazy--which includes getting all 5 dogs howling at once which I think is the birds' favorite activity in the world!
My harlequin's a total wack job--the world's best argument as to why we shouldn't mess with mother nature! I know a few other harlequins and they all seem to have issues. I won't re-home her, however, as she and the scarlet would most certainly not do well if separated. Also, she's so difficult I'd be afraid someone might get so angry with her that they'd hurt her. So, speaking of commitment, here's an example of having taken the responsibility for this bird this is what we live with. I'm sure the chances are that she may very well outlive my husband and I and while my birds are in my will it's still not going to be an ideal solution when the time comes. It may seem crazy but these are considerations that one needs to think about ahead of a purchase.
Also, everyone's comments on the expense involved are also right on. You can't walk into a good avian vet's office around here without coming out at least a couple hundred dollars poorer and when one of my birds contracted the dreaded aspergillosis that became thousands of dollars between the meds and the dr. visits. We also feed one of the top of the line organic feeds which is now up to $6.30/pound which translates to about $1.50/day with us picking up and recycling all the pieces that end up un-eaten on the floor. Obviously it would be far more than that if we didn't get on hands/knees and do that tedious job a couple times a day!
I have read in many places the analogy that I think Grumpy Goats hints at: Macaws and Grays have the intelligence level of a 5-yr old child but the emotional make-up of a 3-yr old for decades!!!!
Anyway, those are just some rambling thoughts on the subject; with all that said however, I couldn't imagine my life without the girls!