Our club, the Albany Brew Crafters, just completed the incorporation process and received our tax ID number this week.
We found that, although comprehensive, our by-laws, club charter, and release form does nothing to legally protect us from liability. We incorporated because we needed a tax ID to open a club bank account, and because we want the legal protection when it comes down to events. As far as I understand it, this means if we are sued the only money at risk is money associated with the club, not any of the officers' individual investments, etc.
Like Bruce suggested above, we grabbed a couple of examples of by-laws and adapted them to our purpose. Check out this thread
for some great examples -- we leaned heavily on the Maltose Falcons' charter when designing our own (cheers to the Falcons!).
After we had the by-laws, there was some paperwork we had to do with the state (New York), and a one-time $70 fee. It took about 2 weeks to get the paperwork and tax id. Now we're incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. We have to file taxes every year, but because our club is so small and currently has next-to-no revenue, we won't end up paying anything this year. We placed the tax responsibility with our "Brewsar" (treasurer). We're hoping our incorporation also attracts more local business sponsors and helps to grow the club a bit.
Federal non-profit status, which allows businesses or individuals to use club donations as a tax write-off, is a whole different ball-game, and not one we are pursuing at this point.