AEG's require less maintenance than gas. I generally play 3 times a month. I try to clean my barrel after every game and I usually open up and clean/re-lube my gearbox once mid season and again near or at the end. Some guys do it once a season, some don't touch theirs till something breaks, and some guys may do it more often. I try to clean/re-lube my pistols after every 2 or 3 of uses.
I don't use my pistol very often in outdoor games, I really only use it if my primary goes down for whatever reason. Pistols generally don't have the range or volume to compete with an AEG so your tactics have to be altered. I don't always carry my pistol outdoors. My pistol gets 90% of it's use indoors where it can be used as a primary at certain venues or where the engagement distances are short enough to make a transition more favourable to a reload. I wouldn't say a pistol is by any means necessary, but it's nice to have something if your primary shits the bed.
I didn't know anyone either when I started out at 32. It doesn't take long to get to know people, it's a pretty small community so you'll see a lot of the same guys all over. Best thing to do is ask about people's guns and gear, most guys love to show their kit off. My first AEG was a clear gun with plastic gears from Walmart
. I'm just glad I was able to return it a few days later and get my money back.