buddypress, bbpress or both

So I have a new site I am working to help out a few neighborhoods in my city. I planned on using buddypress instead of just a generic forum because I have heard a lot about the social network capabilities and thought it would be nice to have the user profiles, and other social features but I am having a few problems figuring out exactly how to set it up and would like some advice.

There is suppose to be a main page for the whole city that is public. Then there should be separate private neighborhood groups. The most important aspect of the site should be ease of use. I am finding buddypress is just harder to use then a simple forum... Here are some examples of problems I am having... I created a new buddypress member. I then created a new Private group. After I created the group I thought, how will people be able to join the group... It says that I have to send people friend request first, wait for them to accept the request and then send an invite.... This just seems like way to many steps... So then I installed bbpress... I loved how easy it was to set up a few topics and I can password protect them if need be... problem is it will not allow my buddypress members to post or reply... I guess you have to be signed up as a wordpress user for bbpress.... But also with bbpress in the forum area I created it does not even tell you how to sign up so you can post a new topic but either way I can't have 2 separate logins on the site... So now I guess I have to choose between buddypress or bbpress...

This is what I would like to see happen and maybe some of you guys will be able to tell me what I need to use to make it possible.

Users visit my site. There will be a main city site with a list of neighborhoods. I would like the main site to have a public forum of some sort. Then there should be subsites that are the separate neighborhood forums. These need to be private. (invite only) Also note I am using multisite. The neighborhood sites will need a forum type section that has a few basic topics, (neighborhood security, yardsales, neighborhood news etc...)

I really like some of the buddypress features, (users being able to make their own groups, friendrequest, blogs etc) but if it isn't going to work I guess I may just have to stick with bbpress... I am at a deadend here... What do you think?