Yeah I love this stuff and hit the bars almost every weekend when I take the dog to the park. I am also a long way from them though.
Keep hanging with your friends though, there's honestly nothing like working out in a group and feeding off each others energy.
Our resident bar athlete, Al Kavadlo, was at the legendary Tompkins Square Park one lovely July day when I hit the most muscle ups I have ever done in a day (and the next two-three days were HELL. I was so incredibly sore but also very happy) and it had a LOT to do with the energy and the vibe of the place. People of all walks of life and training styles (we shared the bars with parkour traceurs) just coming together to move around, it was really great. I haven't since then been able to "get it in" with others like that, and though this is my solely on me - I have not been able to get the muscle ups the same way I did that day.
For me, it wasn't even a competitive thing that helped me get the MUs that day, it was more wanting to be a part of it, and getting tips from some of the people there, etc.
Have you checked out the videos coming from Europe? there are some incredibly strong guys out in Ukraine and nearby areas. Like, INCREDIBLY strong.
As far as styles go, I largely prefer strength based bar athletes, meaning, I'm not personally into the spinning and high-flying action of others. I respect it, but it's not as visually appealing to me. For instance, I prefer Bar-Barians over Bartendaz, the latter are just too dizzying for me.
I have to say, Nirose is it for me, at his weight what he can do is pretty impressive. I am also enthralled by his bar handstand work, have a look:
Watch all the way, look at how the kids just FREAK OUT around the 1 minute mark (his daughter's school is nearby... it's not creepy that I know that, it's in his video descriptions!)
EXTREME STRENGTH...NIROC - YouTube
His constant mix of push-pull is something I really like as well. I definitely look forward to being strong enough to go from muscle up to handstand for sets, that's just so nuts to me right now, but in time and with consistent training I'll get there...