Quite frankly, if we had to do it over again at Adobe, we would not have canonized the "base 14 fonts" (4 faces each of Times, Helvetica, and Courier plus Symbol and ITC Zapf Dingbats) of PDF and would have required that all PDF files have all fonts used embedded. That would have solved your basic initial problem. But unfortunately, those decisions were made about 24 years ago.
Furthermore, I doubt whether you will get any useful solutions by calling everyone a “smartass,” “idiot,” or “fool” or for that matter describing font foundries as “lowlife” running “a basic scam.”
There are costs to licensing fonts because there are significant costs to properly designing and implementing digital fonts, much less marketing them. Yes, there are “free” fonts posted on the internet. Some are as good or better than similar commercial fonts and others. Others are really wretched with design flaws, limited character sets, poor spacing, incorrect font metrics, and poor or inadequate pair-kerning information. And surprise, surprise … many of the “free fonts” on some websites are pirated copies of commercial fonts.
There is no reason why a commercial font foundry should be a totally non-profit organization. I am sure that if you are working professionally, you have a salary or charge for the value of your time.
Sorry, but no one on Usenet or anyplace else should be giving you “free copies” of commercial typefaces as such transfers are in fact illegal in virtually every civilized legal jurisdiction.
In terms of Distiller, it looks for fonts on your system that exactly match the name of the font requested by the PostScript being converted to PDF which in turn was specified in whatever application generated the PostScript, whether that application was Word, InDesign, etc. Distiller is not what you use for embedding fonts into existing PDF files. Assuming you have the necessary fonts installed on your system, Acrobat Pro does provide appropriate Preflight Profiles to embed missing fonts. Works like a charm, but you do have to have the fonts installed!