I like the idea of a get together over dinner. It's one of the things that helps cement friendships on our sport. I think it's worth it to help bring the sport together, and it would be especially useful when people visit from other countries.
WE're seeing FT grow in South America now, and Hector & I have talked about setting up an Americas FT Cup somewhere in Central America each year. His though was that it might be more popular if it was held in the US, and the Nationals format would be a good place to start. ( I'm paraphrasing Hector)
For that reason, I'm OK ponying up $50 for something I might not attend.
Safety: I don't think it hurts for us to pay more attention to this. Empty chamber indiators should be something we all use as a matter of habit. It'll go a long way toward making ourselves welcome at PB clubs that might host our events.