I say do it if you enjoy it, or want to go pro eventually or whatever. Otherwise, why bother?
1) I have to almost verbally remind myself to eat breakfast. Critical.
2) I'm old. So I like a lot of warm up. I try to get onsite early enough to stretch/throw some warmup tosses AND try to get in maybe 5-9 holes, depending on how much I don't want to wear myself out. If I don't have enough time for all that, I'll echo the...
3) Opening round, opening holes, try to play more conservative, less "Evil Kneivel."
As far as dealing with a-holes, to me that's a crapshoot. I've got a total of 3 events under my belt, started playing sanctioned this year. I play Advanced Masters. In my area, this div is a lot of the usual suspects. They are by and large hilarious, laid back, helpful to a tourney noob, and serious without being hyper-competitive.
Pace of play was a HUGE adjustment. It really starts killing me toward the end of the day, i.e. second round. I hate to use this word, but I almost get "bored," and start to lose focus...especially in these larger fundraiser fields (90 as opposed to 72, 5somes instead of 4somes.) This is less of an issue with a lively, interactive card.
I say join the PDGA, but that's totally a personal pref. I wanted a rating, and knew I was going to play more than 5 events (it's 10 extra bucks for a PDGA event for non-members, so 5 events 'covers' your membership fee.) Hilarious to me...the PDGA "mini" I got is a miniature DC Ultimate frisbee...? My PDGA disc is a black ESP Stalker.
In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake.