Great points. Our dojo does try to incorporate this type of thinking into beginners classes. There are several different ways we do this. We have worked on some exercises to get us moving "off the line" and out of the way of an attack, we have had classes focused on a comitted attack that strikes true. We do some exercises where we can choose one of several variations of a technique we are doing (changing entrance, etc). Also try to stress in ukemi that it's not about giving up, it's about having the best tactical advantage you can when being in a tactically bad position (safety and responsiveness).
Especially in our weapons classes, we stress that, even though it's wooden, it's still a deadly weapon, which helps to give a sense of realism that a strike doesn't always have.
Thanks that sounds similar to what I've been trying out at my dojo and it is nice to find that across the world, you find people making similar discoveries in their dojos
The fault is not with the art itself but perhaps the way it's being taught where there are many pitfalls if we don't sit down and analyze why Aikido is the way it is. Too often, it's the teacher is always right and many dojos that don't encourage questioning. Of course this is a generalization and there are many exceptions to the rule but there's still too many of these kind of dojos that do little to prepare someone for a real self defense situation.