(re: Breaking into the business) I think it’s very possible for someone with no money to break into the business, if they are willing to work hard.
Build your own game. You don’t really need a publisher. Buying the development kit from Jeff Tunnel’s company, garagegames.com was a good first step (assuming you are a talented programmer). Jeff is awesome. I have to believe his garagegames engine is good enough to build a professional quality game.
Being broke means that you have to work evenings and weekends, while supporting yourself in some other way. Obviously, it would be best if a game company would hire you, but if not – then you have to find a way to build a game without their help.
You can fake the art yourself, or find a friend that is an artist. My guess is that there are artists and musicians everywhere to be found on the net, that also want to break into the business. The garagegames.com website has a want ads section for people looking for team members to do games. Form a small team, and start working on a game.
If you get something fun to play – you should be able to sell it. I just met up with a couple of ex-Sierra guys who are making a fortune selling games from their website (popcap.com). Online distribution is happening.
PS Good luck!