Lou - is that a West Midlands remix of an Eminem song?
Madbee - Bob is best for these matters but as I understand it, you can join a club 'Second Claim' and go and train with them etc and enter races which your first club doesn't enter e.g different leagues, masters events etc. but as Lou says some leagues have rules about only running for your first claim club.
Skinny, before joining the club I had similar against reasons to you (apart from number 1). However, now I would say (from very limited experience of a few months at 1 running club) in response to your points:
1) - Dunno.
2) - As I said to Bob, I suggested this type of run to Howard on the night and he agreed to lead it and a few other people liked the sound of it so joined us. There were about 4 other groups going out for easy runs at anything from 9:30min/mile to 8min/mile who I could have joined. However, club runs might be different at other clubs. I like running on my own too but I am enjoying a bit of a change, however, I think I'll stick to group running once a week.
3) - I very much doubt that if you said no you would be unpopular unless they are a gaggle of gits. I think some of the top clubs might put pressure on people to race if they are going for national titles (there's a club local to us who have recruited a team of vets from other teams in the area specifically with that goal), but other than that, I think if you said no nobody would bat an eyelid.
4) Personal preference, I guess. Although from what I've seen people are encouraged to marshal for 'home' events but not forced to.