It seems like you practice kata hoping to find something there, why not just practice something like jujutsu, something more simplistic and proven to be practical?
Isn't the best self defense the simplest?
I to find it very hard to trust those "experts" of bunkai, tuite and kata interpretation, because as you say, it may just be that it is only good with a willing opponent and not one who is truly resisting.
What I'm actually saying is that after 40 years of practice, kata as a part of an integrated system has everything I need.
'Simple techniques' are fine for the first 5 years and will not work against a good street fighter, the deeper principles free you from technique and work far more reliably.