It's great to read that you are really looking at all your possibilities. I firmly believe as we start to open up to possibility, an avalanche of ideas start to come. Then the fun begins as we choose the ideas we are most excited about.
I was a Mary Kay rep at one time in Vancouver, BC. I don't tell too many people because it turned out that I was simply not a saleswoman at heart. I enjoyed the business part, but gave away so many "deals" that I barely made any money. I've since learned that the purpose of a business is to make money... Duh!
A lot of what you are talking about in #1 and #3 WAS available to me. Our weekly networking groups were broken into small groups and quite informal with lots of possibilities for extra support and events.
More than anything, I found the greatest support was one on one (just like coaching). However, because there was so much pressure to do things the proven "Mary Kay Way" it seemed that there wasn't openess to discuss our own unique ways of marketing. It kind of reminded me of the cattle pen. I was a business owner without the sense of freedom to fly.
I also found that going to so many "meetings" seemed to be an added duty, rather than an energizing support. Before long, I stopped going and just booked Mary Kay parties instead.
The biggest truth in all of this is that I wanted to be invited to express my own talents without feeling the pressure of doing it a specific way. I guess that's why I wasn't a successful Mary Kay Rep. I wasn't willing to work incredibly hard for that Pink Cadillac doing something I wasn't REALLY enjoying.
Funny enough, I've met many Avon and Mary Kay dropouts who felt exactly the same as I did. Perhaps there is an answer here after all, since you want to keep them in the group and satisfied at the same time. I was beginning to wonder if my comments were useful.
I can't say much on #2 since it didn't apply to me. I CAN say that taking competition out of a group really adds to the synergy of a group.
Wishing you all the best!