I'm pretty much the same way. The questions you listed are actually the reason I DON'T have any friends. During Jr High to HighSchool, I had 1 friend. We went to the same school although lived in different towns, and then in HS we went to different schools and at times I felt more "lonely" and that's one of the reasons that made me end it. Towards the end, the friendship felt one sided. *I* was the one who *always* called just to say hi and see what was going on and *I* was the one always asking to do things. How it ended was I quit calling and she rarely ever called me. Maybe once every 2 weeks she'd be like "Oh, haven't heard from you in a while" and we'd talk as usual and eventually the calls stopped. Yep, we live about 15 minutes away from eachother across the town border and we haven't seen eachother in about 7 years. Sometimes I regret it but other times.. eh. Like I said, sometimes it felt more lonely like she was only talking to me when I called because she felt bad for me. Although I know she at least had other friends or aquaintances, I was supposedly the "best friend" and we hung out where as she didn't do as much as her other friends. It was..weird.
So if you decide to "lower your standards" be careful, because you could just end up with someone like that or worse.
I think the only people who aren't really popular in general and have really good friends got lucky and met them through grade school and have years of growing up and bonding together. My mother is one of those social people that drive me nuts, she talks to everyone about anything and she doesn't really have a "best friend" anymore, just people she works with that she talks to mostly while working and a few random friends or aquaintances she knows because it's a small town and nobody ever leaves. She's way too nice and some people just call her when they need something and half the time she does it. She had a really good friend for a few years, she'd go over her house a few times a week.. now they talk like once a year. She lost her best guy-friend from HS when he got married 2 years ago to some jealous, insecure bimbo. I just..don't get it. She may be happy but I don't want to be like that.
I don't want to make friends to have people like that in my life and that's partly the reason I don't bother. I've watched friend type people come and go out of my mother's life for 20+ years and she doesn't even really care. She has this "ya win some ya lose some" type attitude.
I'm actually hoping to get involved more in the city too. I'm looking for a job down there. Even the feel of it is just so..different than here. People are genuinely nice instead of people here who smile and ask how you're doing because their job forces to them. Hopefully I'll find some people with similar interests as me at least. I had a stupid, funny conversation with the cashier at a store the other day and it brightened my day although at the same time, felt kind of sad knowing it'd probably never happen again. Just another random person met at a random store.