To begin your book project you need to decide on the page size, binding type, and number of pages.
I am making some assumptions here that you are going to use gathered signatures in a case bound style using 8-1/2 X 11 size paper folded down to 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 (this would also apply to 11 x 17 folded to 8-1/2 x 11 but you won't be able to print this on a home desk top printed unless using a larger inkjet).
Each folded signature represents 4 pages, and generally one gathers 4 signatures per section, binding the number of sections needed to get the page count needed (remember to leave blank pages for front and back fly leaf). Once you know how many sections you need for the book you can work out the page imposition. My advice is always make a numbered page dummy so that you can look at the page numbers on each signature.
I do my layouts in InDesign manually, although you should check the documentation as there might be a booklet making function available. When I started doing imposition back in version 1.5 there wasn't such feature with the program, and I have gotten used to doing it manually. I suppose I should look for it though.
Anyway, in InDesign you can make the page spreads corresponding to each side of a signature. Thus page 2 signature backs page 1 signature, page 4 signature backs page 3 signature, etc. The signature pages are split right side/left side with the front right side being the "first" page of the folded signature. You have to walk your way through the signatures based on how many gathered groups you need, which is why the dummy becomes so helpful. Unless the newer versions of InDesign have an imposition routine. Hope this isn't too confusing.
As to printing, why not send a sample print to your Dell and decide if the print quality is sufficient based on the print? Hammermill makes color copy paper that is very nice. My only caveat is that you must remember that laser printers use heat to fuse the toner and you will see a bit of cracking along your fold (this is worse on gloss paper and cover). You don't want to fold over any printing if you can avoid it as the toner will flake and won't look too nice.
If you are going to fold down 8-1/2 x 11 paper to make your signatures, buy 11 x 17 and cut it in half. The 8-1/2 x 11 paper sold in retail stores is grain long, which will be the wrong grain direction when folded in half. 11 x 17 is typically grain long, so when cut down to 8-1/2 x 11 the grain direction will be parallel to spine when folded in half.
If you decide you have to hire the printing out, try to find a small commercial or quick printer near your location so that you can go in person. Give them a call first and describe what you need to see that they can accommodate you.
Hope this helped.