Absolutely agree with everything you said! It's tough not to make any noises when you're playing TT as well if you're looping with all your strength.You, too, will start making noises if you wind up lifting to the limits your strength.
Also, the biggest and scariest looking dude in the gym will probably be the most friendly and helpful when it comes to asking for advice. Remember that these people dedicate hours of their day in search of their own idea of self improvement. Ask guys like that for advice on anything (form, strength programs, etc.) and they will turn into your free personal trainer. If you are too shy for something like that, you can post videos of yourself lifting on reddit subreddit /r/formcheck.
The gym can be intimidating for beginners. But you'll find the 'serious' lifters to be extremely friendly and supportive. The same cannot be said about the 'good' players at most TT clubs who will have nothing to do with beginners.