This is a really amazing write-up covering an extremely broad amount of material.
I'm in San Antonio as well, and I heat my house probably 4 days a year. I can attest to awnings and window shades being incredible tools here that can be done on the cheap. With the humidity and temperatures being too high at night (84 degrees) during the summer months (april-october), evaporative cooling and "cold temperature storage" is not very effective. But blocking the sun from hitting your windows and walls *is* very effective! Same with growing big old shade trees in front of your east and west facing walls, but that takes many years to reap the benefit. With 7 solid months of hot weather, I would suspect any building (even adobe/cob) that isn't built with some sort of sun shade to be quite uncomfortable in peak summer.
I am interested in rocket stoves as a way to cool my house though, not to heat it. I was thinking about what you said about rocket stoves being used in these types of climates for specialized "purpose-built" uses. I think a rocket stove outdoor cooking thingy would be very useful here, especially if it had a hot box oven area by it. I think 50 years from now, people will look back at us and think, "Wow... People used to cook inside their own houses while simultaneously running their A/C units to cool down the heat it produced...." It's madness I tell you! But there isn't a real energy efficient option right now other than not cooking for 6 months because grills burn so much fuel for so little output.
Anyway, if there's ever a workshop on outdoor cooking with rocket stove tech, sign me up! The high temperatures and amount of experimentation to make a stove that was usable as a primary cooking implement is pretty far outside my knowledge and abilities.