I'm half self-taught, half class-taught. I'm glad I did both.
I'll put in a plug for taking a good class. If the class is a good one, you'll learn more much more quickly and safely than by yourself. A good instructor/guide/course-leader will have decade-scale experience and can give you a taste of the perspective one gets from being in the mountains for a lifetime. That perspective is hard-earned and better gotten the easy way.
I think you'll find that the WAC and the Mountaineer-branch courses require comparable time commitment. Many guide services offer shorter-duration courses. To get the most out of the guided courses, extensively practice what you can ahead of time, and come to the class prepared to soak in knowledge.
I took the Seattle Mountaineers basic-course in 2006, and am active with the WAC's backcountry travel course. The WAC is somewhat less-regimented than the Mountaineers of '06 (things may be more flexible now, I hear), but you should enjoy working with and learning from other people.
TL;DR: Find common-sense comparable-skill climbing partners and seek good mentors. Play the long game. A good class can help. Also, this.