I don't think YouTube is deliberately making it hard. It's just the way things go.
For its part, YouTube does try to promote original content, although it inevitably prefers stuff that makes the most money. I have noticed though that German YouTube (I'm technically a German user) often features some of my videos (the first sign being a mysterious spike in views) and those of my peers, and original content creators with potential are often made partners, which again helps with promotion.
I've discovered, though, that once you've found a couple of these people, if you keep an eye on what they're doing, they'll likely lead you to other content creators -- for example, if they make a collab, or a video response to somebody else, more often than not it's somebody at a similar level.