[quote name='Haps' timestamp='1309825416' post='4831192']
There's a lot of assumptions and generalizations in your post, many wrong, so you probably don't have a clear idea about the indie market.
For starters, Indie doesn't mean amateur or hobbyist, or someone that's unpublished - It means independent, without obligations to a studio or publisher. There are successful, full-time indies out there making a living at what they do. There are others who treat it as a small business on the side, holding a day job and releasing a couple games for the love of it and a little extra spending money. And yes, there's plenty of others who just want to create something "cool". But indie doesn't mean they're not professionals.
Not everybody is only trying to build a portfolio. Many already have, and are looking to monetize those skills. Some already work for a company, some might not want an industry job, but they make their skills available for smaller budget projects. Asking to be paid for contract work isn't the same as a salaried job. With the sheer amount of project abandonment within amateur communities, it's pretty foolish for a talented professional to do so much work up front without being paid, a project can fail at any point for a zillion reasons. Then they're left with the most invested and the least gained.
Not all indie projects are freeware, either. Have a look at Wikipedia's [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_indie_game_developers"]List of Indie Game Developers[/url] and see how many games you recognize. And the creation of the App Store, XBLIG, and the Android market, as well as Steam's willingness to take indie submissions, make it so pretty much anyone can get their project out there and make a few bucks off it.
Yes, there are a lot of zero budget, dream-filled amateurs who are trying to break into the industry in their free time, but it's a little unfair to group all indies into that category.
Okay's great! Thanks for clearing that up for me!! Maybe I can come to you for questions if that's okay with you.