I had a Tamagotchi cousin back in 1997 or 1998-- Giga Pets Compu Kitty. Most of my friends had one of the 'real' ones, but I think I wanted a cat for one reason or another. I was a terrible virtual pet owner, but I kind of wish I could find it now... I only stopped playing because the battery died and it was more or less impossible to find the right replacement in the tiny town I lived in. RIP Compu Kitty. You were the coolest.
My first actual Tamagotchi was a v2, when they came back in 2004. I didn't have as much time to take care of it at that point, so eventually it fell by the wayside. I actually thought they'd stopped making them again and was really surprised to find out that they're still going!