You get much less hand-holding, but you have a lot less corporate BS in they way of how and where you organize your pages and photos.
Regarding getting photos off PB, with all their chicanery lately, I'd be shocked if someone hadn't written an app that allows you to download your albums directly to your PC. You may want to take a look around for "photobucket image/ album download" search results.
I've hosted my own pages and images for almost 15 years, and have always been extremely happy.
Best Regards, greg