Take the course, you'll learn a hell of a lot more than you can teach yourself at home, as well as a few nifty tricks that, in my case, I hadn't learned in my past years of doing this. Doing so will also give you the tools you need to figure out what machines you need to re-create one at home.
The current course is based on BT3final, which IIRC you will be given a download link to in case you don't have it, and is well worth the small investment necessary. If you think you have the skills, you can do what I did and just get yourself in for 30 days of lab time, if not, others have gone 60 days and extended them just to be sure. The choice is ultimately yours.
Apart from a few certs I am not affilliated with the team in any way, but I will plug a good thing when I see it, be it the OSCP course, TCP/IP Illustrated or Vegemite 1.0.