You are the only person besides myself who I have encountered who actually understands the importance of KPK and the people over there. Our tablighi elders say spending time with the right people is important for the transference of good sifaat (attributes) to you and the pathans in jamaat that I have encountered are the ones whose sifaat I most yearn for. Their reliance on Allah and their simplicity of lifestyle is hard not to appreciate.
As for Dajjal, it feels as if his time is near but I have no desire to be tested by that fitna. I fear I won't be strong enough to avoid the lure of his tabligh. The only reason I even want to be alive for those days is so that my eyes can get a chance to see a prophet of Allah in person. The arrival of Dajjal means the arrival of Prophet Isa (AS) and that's a pleasant thought.
For the moment though, you are right, personal islah is of the utmost importance. I hate to think of what will happen if tomorrow all of a sudden Mehdi appears and we would not even be close to ready to join him. Right now leaving our houses for three days in jamaat every month seems like a Jihad in itself (in which we are losing, BTW), how are we supposed to abandon our comfortable lives to pledge allegiance to someone we know will want a lifetime of commitment from us?