Well, that's a bummer.
Scott - my hope was that I could insulate the rack just above the stone/steel with foil and place a cast iron skillet right over where the pizza would bake. The theory is that the hot air coming up from the heating element on the bottom will sort of get trapped in the baking area underneath the foil and work in combination with radiant heat from the cast iron to provide extra heat on the top and sides. It's probably a long shot, but hey, I figure it's the best I can do. What do you think?
On a side note, my ideal pizza would be of the neapolitan vein, but I rent an apt and a WFO/modded oven is out of the question (though a WFO will be THE first on my priority list if and when I were to settle down in a house). Thus, the best pizza I could shoot for is a 4-5 minute bake that will hopefully give me a good char and oven spring without drying out the crust and raw tomato sauce.
I know an 8 min NY style could probably accomplished with the oven I have. But NY style for some reason just doesn't cut it for me. There's something about the vibrancy of raw tomatoes, fresh mozz, and basil that really speaks to me, and pizza is just not at it's best without that IMO.
I suppose I can parbake the crust if a shorter bake time is not achievable with my setup, but I hope there's a solution I can find.
I really appreciate you guys' help. This forum has been invaluable to me for pizza making.