You guys sound like you're on the right track. Have you watched Maangchi's videos? http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/nappa-cabbage-kimchi
That's how I learned. A few trips to a Korean restaurant to compare your kimchi with theirs and you should have it!
Off the cuff, most of the photos on this thread seem a bit too watery. Before you mix the napa with anything, it should be cut into fourths and salted for 4 hours. Then wash off the salt and wring out as much water as you can like you're wringing a towel. Only then do you mix it with the other veggies and pepper paste.
A note about choice of pepper: any dried red pepper would do, but why not just track down gochugaru? If you're lucky enough to live in a city with a Korean market, one bag should cost you $4-5.
Sugar and starch: I don't add any sugar to my kimchi, but I use mochiko, which is 100% amylopectin. Any glutinous rice flour, of course, is alright. Second best would be plain old rice flour, and third best would be white wheat flour.
If the fish sauce available to you at your local asian market tastes nasty, just get some dried anchovies, boil them in some water, and add a bit of salt. You just made fish sauce! Kimchi shouldn't reek. If your wife doesn't allow you to open the kimchi container when she's in the room, you're doing it wrong!
Kimchi should be crisp and refreshing, not dank, and not overpowering.
Likewise, if you go to a Korean restaurant, the kimchi you're served as a side dish will have just a twang of sourness to it, probably 1 week old maximum. Older kimchi gets very sour, and is for making stews and pancakes (jjigae and jeon.)
After I paint the salted, washed, and wrung-out napa with my rice flour/gochugaru/fish sauce/veggies paste, I leave the napa quarters at room temp for 24 hours. You can see bubbles at this time point. Then I store in the fridge indefinitely. It's got a nice sour twang at 48-72 hours after preparation. It will not be overpowering even months after you make it, but it will get a bit too sour for most tastes, even at the cool temps of your fridge.
I will post photos of mine the next time I make it. If in doubt, just go to a Korean restaurant to do some research. Kimchi will come as a side dish before your main meal comes, and it will be served no matter what you order!