About the concept of yeshiva relying on charity.G (elsewhere):
Someone told me recently that the current economic crisis might, in some way be a good thing because it will make yeshivas realize that you can't always rely on big donors and should plan accordingly. Perhaps many of the kollels and yeshiva's are "not necessary" and it would be a good thing if some of them closed so that there is more money for the ones that really need it. The people learning in the closed ones can switch to other ones, hence "not necessary". (Of course, there are different types of people who need different types of yeshivas so many of them are "necessary", this is for daas Torah to decide)
I think that the Rosh Yeshiva (Ez: R' Henoch Leibowitz of Chofetz Chaim) ztl said that a yeshiva shouldn't go into debt without a backup plan, in other words more than the yeshiva's total assets are worth. So, for example, if a yeshiva has a $5 million building they can go up to $5 million in debt because they can always rely on selling the building. Anything more than that would be considered relying on miracles. A Rosh Yeshiva must be willing to close down his yeshiva if he no longer has the money to run it. Until then he should have bitchon that Hashem will provide, but he has to understand the difference between bitachon and relying on miracles.
Nobody can tell you what makes you happy and you're right that it can be found in both areas...hence the dilemma.
it's a long life and there is time/room for more than one path. I would only make sure that you feel/think whatever it is you feel/think about a given aspect of this issue because it is what YOU HONESTLY HOLD. I would hate to see someone decide on something because "well everyone else seems to think that this is important so then it MUST be to me too".
cultivating a talent - living large - utilizing strengths - making a difference...these are all valid things from which to draw happiness, just make sure they are from what YOU can draw happiness.