Bass, how car-friendly is the city? Will I be paying through the nose for parking where I live? What about insurance? Do you know if Penn Law has enough parking?
I was disappointed at not getting a t-shirt too. I was hoping to leverage it into a Tiki Barber throwback from UVA.
Well, I can't speak too much about parking in U-City on a regular basis, since I don't live there. I can't imagine that it would be more than 120/month, but there's probably way better deals than that. If you live in the right neighborhood, there's a good chance that you can just find free on-street parking. That would mean a longer walk.
As for the location of Amtrak, it's 30th and market. It's roughly 8 blocks from the law school. There's subway stops much closer to the law school (half a block on the green line), and there's regional rail also at 30th street. With regional rail you can live out in the burbs. Something to think about, but I doubt many penn law students do it.
As for whether philly is car friendly, I can say this: I am a much happier person now that I have my car than before. While the public transit will easily take you from home to penn, or penn to center city, it won't easily take you everywhere. It also helps for the grocery store (big time). I used to choose what to buy based on how difficult it would be to carry home, which is no fun. But you really don't need one, so don't go buy one if you don't have one already.
I should say that you will probably get a ridiculous parking ticket here or there, and you will definitely get stuck in terrible traffic if you don't know your way around. But if you get to know the ways around high traffic spots, it really isn't bad.