Great post Dave.
Your previous post with the technical examples made perfect sense the way you explained it. I have experienced a similar thing in my own training and the approach we use is going back to the kata to research and understand what we may have done wrong in randori. Resistance randori acts as the "acid test' to see if we truly understand the principles embodied in the kata or if we are BS-ing ourselves as to our understanding and effectiveness.
In fact this approach was recommended by Tomiki who saw the practice of kata and randori as elements of training that were complementary to each other and inseparable. One studies the correct form in kata and attempts to apply it in randori of varying resistance. If the technique fails then one returns and re-evaluates one's understanding of and performance in the kata, now armed with the knowledge learnt from spontaneous randori and resistance, very much like what you said in your last post.
Most times the result is we need to work harder on our own application of the kata, utilizing and applying many of the subtleties of motion that we tend to leave out in spontaneous situations sometimes. On the odd occasion the kata itself may be influenced or improved by the dynamics appreciated in randori, causing the kata to become more effective within the theories of Aiki to deal effectively and efficiently with the dynamics discovered in spontaneous resistance practice. After this one then returns to resistance randori to see if one's application improves based on these modifications, to avoid things like clashing energy, overuse of muscle strength and other things that one may resort to in an attempt to "make the technique work" and unwittingly propagate the culture of mediocrity either by lack of ability or lack of insight gained from spontaneous practice.
Personally I think Tomiki foresaw this phenomenon and decided to utilize both kata and spontaneous, resistant freeplay training in a way that each element can act as a guard or "check system" to improve the other and give one a method to seek objective improvement in one's own Aikido.
Just a few more thoughts. Great insights and comments folks.