I believe your interpretation is correct. You're right on.
The majority of members in AA do not even read the book -- let alone take the Steps. I'm sure, from your experience that you posted, that you understand the difference in "taking the Steps" and "working the Steps."
That's the correct way to do it. To "take the Steps." I'm not sure if you read the 12 & 12 or not. If you do, you may want to glance at the first couple of paragraphs for Step 10. Bill refers to the first nine Steps as "the foundation" for living the AA program, One Day At A Time.
Imagine trying to build a house -- without a foundation? Then, try to imagine living in a house -- without a foundation.
Probably okay, as far as a rickety tree-house might go, or a lean-to, with branches propped up -- but nothing you'd want to brag about as "being HOME."
Unfortunately, you may begin to feel a little lonely in the Fellowship -- because others won't understand what you're referring to. I know I did! And, sometimes, it still seems a little lonely -- in that regard. However, over the years, and especially with Internet access to other Big Book people online, that void can be filled, until you're able to develop the fellowship you crave. Our book calls it "The Fellowship of The Spirit" (on pg 164).
I encourage you to come here often and share your experience. Other AA's need to hear the message that you've experienced. The only way they'll get it -- if they've been hanging out in some dry meetings -- is to read and hear the experience of people like you -- who have done the work, and are doing the work, and are experiencing sobriety on a level that many do not even imagine as possible.
Thank you for sharing! I appreciate you and your sharing!