I got my first chin 8 years ago. I dont remember why I got one (I was like 13) other than they are extremely cute and I already had every other kind of small animal. And they are packed with personality.
Now I have 5, and they are tons of fun. Each has there own quirks like their favorite type of treat, or favorite chew toy. All of them immediately come to the cage door when I walk in the room. If I open it, they *will* jump out. They like to have playtime where they run and explore everywhere. My oldest knows his name and was a master escape artist before I learned his tricks (One night I woke up with a chinnie-butt on my face!) Whenever the dust bath is in sight.. they get excited and roll around for as long as I let them. They would sleep in the dust if they could.
They don't smell (IMO.. not like rabbits or guinea pigs), pretty easy to maintain (do research though..), and are very interactive creatures. =)