Ah, sometimes it is hard to find a good LUG. Sometime you just have to keep trying. The Linux Nazi's can take over a LUG if they aren't careful.
Strange that there aren't any Linux shops, esp around a university...
As for ISPs:
This is a loaded question that comes with a yes and a no answer. Some ISP software is just a PPP script that can be copied and used (eg Earthlink). Some ISP software is a little more complicated than that, and you have to jump through a few hoops (eg AOL).
For most broadband providers it is a non-issue as their software does nothing more than install a toolbar in IE
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