Sorry I came out hard.
Its just that people get dupped into those instructional 'become the best in two minutes' dvds and videos.
Ok lets work the problem. There are karate styles such as goju ryu which are very similar and are infact descended from kung fu.
Those family places that you say, have you looked into them? Are they genuine? what do they teach? From my experience its the backstreet dudes that operate in basements that offer the best teaching.
Obviously dont join the All American Dream Team Family with matching head bands!
Appart from that, I have to say that although reading from a book and looking at some dvds can supplement your training, it cannot be learn from that. You have to have a teacher describe the feeling, the teacher needs to look and correct your mistakes. If you make mistakes later on it will be like building a house on faulty foundations. When you need it the most it will collapse in a heap.
I can suggest some books that talk about the theory behind kung fu and some philosophy and some tactics etc. But you will not learn how to fight unfortunately.
In my opinion, you should join a school even if its not the dream that you wanted, it is better than learning things wrong.
Also, (and believe on this), EVERY art has something to offer, you can find what you want in EVERY art. That is why its called an art form, because after you learn the basics you can mould it to suit your character and temperament. Its like learning an instrument, the best guitarists in the world know how to play at least one other instrument really well. If you start a MA and you start becoming good at it, you will love it and you will get into it, no matter what it is. The type of school is more important than the style.
Everyone on this forum will say that its not the art its the artist. Trust that saying, and your efforts will be rewarded.
Keep us updated and let us know what schools you find.