Dont be too upset Tmac, you may just find at one of the meetings a contact that makes it well worth the money. One good contact who is willing to give you hands on experience is worth so much more than the $80.
i didnt find the BHI any better to be honest. Their forum was built by Noah just after he finished the ark and it is now hardly used. there isnt even a search facility on it.
just remember, you always have us at hand to help out.