Thanks for the responses! To answer some of the questions, I am 26, have access to a couple clubs, but probably won't be getting so serious as to get involved with a trainer, at least not unless I get bitten by the table tennis bug
As far as my current ability goes, it's a weird hodgepodge. My blocks are actually respectable, or so I've been told. My pushing isn't all that good (I'm almost incapable of pushing long, and in general my pushes end up shorter/higher than I intend). My backhand loop actually isn't that bad (again, so I've been told), while with my forehand I have an annoying habit of always putting too much direct contact on the ball, with the result that it doesn't drop enough to stay on the table. I'm not sure whether it's the paddle, complete lack of skill on my part, or some combination of the two, but my chopping is horrendous. I rarely get it to work anything like I intend. Oh, and strangely enough, I'm MUCH more comfortable with forehand serves, but instinctively try to cover most shots backhand. Probably a bad habit developed a long time ago.
That's the basic lay of the land skill-wise for me. The reason I prefer being a push-blocker is that one of my knees likes to complain if I do a lot of quick steps, so being able to stay up on the table rather than moving in and out or laterally a lot is much to be preferred.
So, as to the rubbers, though, it seems the consensus so far is that antis would do better at killing opponents' speed and spin than long pips (or at least have a much gentler learning curve), and that the Super Anti is about as good as it gets without breaking the bank?