I've found, when looking around for myself or for a friend, asking questions other than "do you have puppies and how much are they" is going to get you so much farther.
When I started sniffing around for breeders shortly after joining this forum, I didn't even ask any of them about price or whether or not they had a litter at the moment or even planned that year. Instead I asked about temperament and drive, since I'm particularly interested in sports but not super competitive- I will go as far as the dog will take me, whether that's never getting the chance to title or all the way to nationals. I told them about the plethora of small animals in the house and the plans to keep dogs away from them. I told them my past experience with dogs, what I did and did not like about each one that I've owned, and what I'd consider to be my ideal dog. I then asked them how their dogs measured up to that.
I think the difference is that I started a conversation, instead of just reading off the same copy/paste list of questions that everyone gets. I told them what I like, and asked them what they like, what faults they see in their dogs and what strengths they have. Then I started asking about health and longevity and the subject of cropping/docking/dewclaw removal (I prefer a natural dog), THEN after all that I asked about price. I'm pretty comfortable where I'm at now, and I only got there because I had these conversations.
BTW I think between when I first started putting feelers and when I stopped, I must have contacted probably every working breeder on this side of the states and a couple on the west coast, plus several show breeders. And still no puppy, though I am on a list
And out of all those people, only one did not respond, though when speaking to one of their puppy buyers apparently sometimes that breeder loses emails and if I was really concerned I could probably just give them a call.
I am NOT a show person by any means, I've come to appreciate the work it takes to get show titles but I've got very little interest in the whole thing. I make that very clear in my first email that the most I'd be interested in is some training on how to stack for pictures. Other than that my dog is a pet first, a competitor in sport second, and (due to some new health things) a possible service dog third. I truly think, because of my long-winded conversations, that is why I don't seem to have much of a problem getting a reply email.