That's awesome, Andrew. Great write up. Regardless of the lack of color on the rim, I'm sure that was a great tasting slice. If you look at some of Bill's (Chickenparm) pies, you're in his territory. If you go back a couple of decades, quite a few pizzas used to be this pale. I'm a fan of this amount of color as well.
Here's the constructive criticism you asked for
First off, get rid of the foil. It's probably bouncing some heat away from the ceiling and preventing the tiles from pre-heating properly. It's also probably not contacting the tiles perfectly. With any kind of an air gap, even a fraction of an inch, you're taking the thermal mass of the tiles out of the equation. Lastly, foil is one of the worse emitters there is, and ceiling heat is all about emission/IR radiation. Sometimes bouncing radiative heat is a good idea (such as in David Deas's setup), but in a ceiling scenario such as yours, rather than bouncing the energy, you want to absorb it, collect it in the tiles and emit it. You'll want to use some foil for closing the ceiling/wall gap to around 1/4" on all sides, but don't put foil under the ceiling tiles.
Since our conversation about ceilings, it occurred to me that ceiling tiles, because they don't come in contact with the food, can be glazed. This will allow you to pick up a nice deep black glazed tile. Try, if possible, to work with small tiles. Around 4" is ideal. The smaller the tile, the more resistant it is to thermal shock.
Practicing launching will go a long way in preventing that apprehensive feeling you're getting when launching pies. Make an extra dough ball, stretch it, top it with a lb. of dried beans and launch it onto the counter (aiming for the same spot) over and over again.
Being very liberal when dusting the peel doesn't hurt either and going with a good dusting agent goes a long way in creating a slippery surface. I've been using 50/50 semolina and bread flour, and the semolina acts like ball bearings. The semolina I'm using does taste a bit gritty, though, so I might change brands or see what corn meal does for me. Regardless of what you blend, blending two different size grains makes a world of difference when it comes to ease of launching.
What's the vertical space between hearth and ceiling? Is it 3" or less?
I'm having a hard time seeing the insulating brick. Could you take a shot of the brick outside of the oven? How snug is the brick on the probe?
What cheese is that? Whatever brand it is, stick with it, because it looks good.
Add the oil to the recipe. NY style should have some oil and the oil will help a bit with the browning. Also, the dough should not be smooth prior to cold fermentation, as fermentation will develop the gluten further. Shoot for something between cottage cheese looking and smooth. With a food processor, this could get tricky.
These are the daltile tiles, right? They look pretty sturdy/dense, but, unfortunately, this density seems to be driving up their conductivity. Speaking of foil's ability to bounce heat... you might want to try putting foil under the hearth to act as a mild deflector. That may give you slightly higher ceiling temps. Another thing you can do is incorporate a screen towards the end of the bake. Don't start the pie on screen, no matter how much easier it would be to nix the launch. If, say, you're doing a 4 minute with a stone at 600, try pushing the stone to 625 and going 2 minutes without the screen, 2 minutes with. Lastly, if you find the bottom is getting too much color and the top is still pale, keep doming in mind. With a metal peel, you should be able to lift the pizza a little closer to the ceiling and, in a short time, pick up some color.
Overall, this is just little stuff. You're well along the way to making a truly kickass NY style pie in a broilerless oven setup.