There's scarce reason to own a reel-to-reel deck these days, although I have long nursed a deep longing to bolt one to the wall as a 50's era answering machine... shades of the interior design choices of a dame-smacking Mike Hammer in Kiss Me Deadly.
Technologically practical they may not be, but as reel-to-reel objets d'art, Jeff Jacobs sells just stunningly restored vintage Technics, Sonys, Piuoneers and Marantzes. He is not necessarily selling these for this function, but I think any one of his pieces would look great in a geek's apartment. Retro technology as the flourished design encrustations of a modern home... I think that look has legs.