I sympathize with your objection and clarification to points 1 & 4. Point number 1 is a personal decision. Also, I feel I have been duped several times on the Internet as to who is a key player and who is not. (the name of the game is to make as good of an impression on the web as possible)--which brings me to point number 5
(Honestly, I'm not claiming to be an expert here since I'm obviously just getting started).
My latest target to determine who's legit at indie ebook selling is to look at Amazon paid sales ranking. In reference to your concern about the big shots being too busy, my proposed solution is to target people who's sales rank refect that they are 'just about to make it big' in your category of choice.
What's everybody think about that strategy?
Anyone have any other strategies to offer up?