The last piece is mostly true barring one exception. Keough Hackles offers "Tyers Grade" necks which retail for about 20 bucks and are an exceptional value. They have a lot of feathers in a decent range of useable sizes.
Aside from that, look into things such as Whiting saddle hackle that are graded for size (100's I think they are called) and Spencer's Hackles "Hackle Packs".
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