Nice report. I attempted my first big-wall route in very similar fashion. Our team experienced pretty much the same exact complications as your first attempt. Our descent was epic to say the least. In short, we were off the main rappel route and had to leapfrog cam-hooks and aid on rappel to get back on the proper route. We had reached a point where we were literally pretty much stuck on the wall per say. We finally made it down and free -climbed classics the rest of the trip. A lot of lessons learned. We may have looked like a bunch of gumbies but we got ourselves off safely and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything.
The best way to learn is to get up there and get your ass kicked. IMOP
Thanks Jonathan, I agree. In retrospect it is easy to say that we were making poor decisions, but without the experience you just don't know what to expect. El Capitan is so much different than any other big wall that we have to climb in North America.