Recently the East of Toronto .NET User Group had a Windows Phone 7 presentation (by Atley Hunter) that was very well done, and well attended. (He's blogged about it and included some helpful links, so you should be sure to read his post too.) You would never have known it was his first presentation - he was calm and confident and knew what he was talking about.
At the meeting I met Ashish Kaila, who is working on a toolkit for WPF developers and a Windows Phone 7 library. He showed me the docking panes and some other fun functionality.
To me this is a huge benefit of user group meetings: in addition to the presentations, usually as good as any you would see at a paying conference, you also can meet fellow attendees. I hadn't heard of these tools before, and they could save you a lot of time and effort. The next best thing to coming to meetings, I suppose, is reading blog posts about meetings. Here's where you can learn more about Ashish and his products:
If you're not going to your local user group meetings, why on earth not? We don't bite, honestly, and you have so much to learn and gain from being there. See you next time!