I'm just going off of old memories here, so I may have something wrong.
If you get the Friendship track complete before the second event, you get a good card, correct?
If you get the first part of traveling complete before the third event, everyone gets some hobbit cards, correct?
IIRC, we would always get the Friendship done as soon as possible, along with the first part of travelling. After the third event, we would blitz through the main track as fast as possible; not worrying about the last part of traveling.
We've found that it usually works best to get through the main tracks as fast as possible, and not spend much time on the side tracks (except to get good events; it is very important to get through Friendship in Mordor, for instance). Especially in Moria. Nothing good comes of the side tracks there, other than life Tokens. And we've decided that getting through the scenarios quickly will more than make up for the missing tokens.
Each token you miss will mean one step into the darkness for one hobbit. Advancing Sauron equals one step in the darkness for all hobbits. So advancing Sauron will kill you 5 times as fast as advancing a hobbit. So if you can get through the scenario quickly, you will save steps in the end.
Also, use the ring to get past the last parts of the scenarios with the black squares. If you get good rolls, you can save a turn or two, as well as making one die roll instead of 2.
Also, it will depend a good deal on the luck of the tile draw; so you will often be defeated despite your best efforts (which is why I don't forsee getting much better than 65% in a five player no matter how experienced we all get; we got considerablyl less when we were starting out).