Re: joining a box
I had been doing CF since 2008-2009ish and never joined a box until recently. I have my L1, have coached and done programming for a box, and I can say this...it is much nicer just going to a box!!! Of course this is all dependent on the box and the price, but I have no problems paying the price because the community and programming at my box are top notch.
Also, if your box is good, you will get plenty of squatting in, in some form or another. Depending on the price difference for 3x/wk to unlimited, I would go with unlimited.