the saying goes, haa (back then it was hems) is where you bring experience, not where you get experience.
what's bleeding through your post is the desire for a magic formula to "get enough hours!" to get an haa job.
like you got enough instructing hours for the tours job, you got enough tour hours for the gom job, and so on up the ladder.
but it didn't used to be like that. or, maybe it did...it's just that the jobs were different, and the time was longer.
like it or not, the people who started this segment of the industry...the segment that is currently offering the biggest number of jobs, which is why the young folks are going after them...were the vn vets. they came out of the service in the drawdown after the war with 1000-2000 hours...but it was flying medium or large turbine equipment (at taxpayer expense), day and night, some instrument, in intense maneuvering that really put a fine edge to aircraft control in any situation, and most important of all, in situations that developed judgment and the ability to take in vast quantities of information...situational awareness...and also responsibility for important things.
then it was usually work in the gom, with different types of responsibilities and learning to please hard-to-please customers. responsiveness and getting along with people, in other words.
after five years of so of this, at the 5- to 7-thousand hour level, probably some utility work, maybe for a decade or so, or maybe corporate. that puts us into the nineties and people with at least 7 thousand helicopter hours and in their mid-forties, who still wanted to fly, and were probably at a peak of their skills due to experiences, but were looking for types of jobs that were not so demanding on the personal side of life. hems fit that description. and so to hems they went.
it wasn't a case of punching tickets until a vastly inflated job pool draws you in without the life skills and mental and emotional skills, plus the minimum number of hours to satisfy an insurance man, as it is now.
just some ruminations that maybe foster some insights for you.