I'm following similar path right now.
I agree - many fresh startups are chasing VC/Angel money, rather than chasing customers, pre-sales and organic growth. The Bay Area offers a lot of capital, but these days you don't need much to start a new venture - depending on the industry.
I'm running weekly Solo Entrepreneurs Standup - East Bay. And we mostly do networking with entrepreneurs who are bootstraping and lifestyle revenue before scaling.
In comparison to "build fast - sell fast", this is a slower growth path, and it's not for everybody.
But it feels like you spend more time with your target customers (rather than VCs), learn from them, iterate faster and go deeper.
If you don't want to be influenced/controlled by VCs/Angels - this is a good path. Besides, most of the time they would not be interested in ventures that are not targeting "hot" trends. For example, you probably don't want to talk to VCs if you want to build order automation systems for plumbers or maids.
I'd be interested to participate in any further discussion.