Here is an interesting idea to help beginners get through the initial stages of finger pain and difficulty pressing the notes. Gentle string setup for beginners
For the four low strings you use Silk and Steel strings (such as the Martin M130 or M1400 standard gauge strings) that have a thin layer of nylon coating. Then string the B and high E with extra light electric strings. I might give this a try and see how it feels. I have the callouses and am able to play all of the open chords reasonably well but I won't say it is entirely without pain. Plus, I wonder if barre chords might be a tiny bit easier.
Any of you have any experience with the Silk and Steel?
It takes as long as it takes unless you quit - then it takes forever and you will never get there.