The lack lack of a LFG option for harder ops has never hindered me from answering or starting a search in general, and it shouldn't be stopping you either.
Haven't had the time to try since the f2p merges; prior to that it was nearly impossible. You would need to spend hours just to get the group together. Then if you were lucky you could start. So yes it isn't a simple process, when people drop out because they get bored of waiting for spots to fill, then another drops because the last guy did.
On average it used to take around 1 to 3 hours, before you could even start.