When i started to play i simply bought the game and asked in the opponent wanted forum...and found Rader and we ended up where you all know... so, let's keep on giving new guys a chance!
I'm in my second long campaign, both against great opponents found on the opponent wanted forum. I might have been terribly lucky, but I am under the impression that most of the players who advertise or reply to challenges on the forum are conscious of the responsibilities that go with such a reply, somehow, this community is very honor-driven. And anyway, early turns are such bears that anyone not really serious will drop before January 1942. In other words, any game that makes it to the end of December will probably last. After that, well, it is like a couple, there are good times, and bad times, and boring times, for both, but so long both players agree that they will make it together, it is fine.
No offense meant, CR, but I think asking for an experienced opponent that will go for AV is not necessarily the best idea. By doing so, you put a lot of responsibility on your opponent, for a benefit which might not be as important as you believe. Greyjoy vs Rader is the perfect example of how a total newbie can provide a good challenge, I think jrcar's current game is also a case in point.