I haven't been to the Azores or Sharm but still think the most likely answer to your question is that you just have had bad luck picking your operator. All my Red Sea diving has been along the continental side from Safaga to Marsa Alam and the diving has been great, both with respect to marine life and dive operations. When travelling alone I've always been able to find capable buddies or have been allowed to dive solo. The thing to do is to find dive resorts that are completely focused on diving and attract hard-core divers like you. You will find very few bridal suites in these places but the diving and comeraderie is great.