Just using a tent has been mentioned, and considered, but politely disregarded. To put it simply, you don't have the whole story. You're trying to categorize all the camping I'm going to do for the next 5 years by one question about one potential condition: a serious storm.
This is the shelter setup I'm looking for. I want to optimize the bivy/tarp combo for serious weather, but owning a bivy bag lets me do some serious overnight fast/light trips and endurance races, winter camping, and maybe sometime some rock climbing trips (I'm an amateur boulderer right now).
Owning a great tarp means everyone who says "Why not just use the Trailstar?" is correct. Yes, I will do LOTS and LOTS of trips with just the Trailstar. Don't worry.
I don't know if this thread needs to keep going every time someone sees the OP and then skips 7 pages and contributes something that's already been said. All the OP questions have been answered and I have e-mails in with three companies.
So, I'm all set. Thanks, everyone!