I've been selling Kevlar for shock cords for eight years now, and using Kevlar yarn in my own kits. In that time I've had two reports of cords breaking. One I was never able to track down, the other was the edge of a fiberglass body tube that managed to saw through the Kevlar on the way down. So I don't think strength is a major issue. My kid brother, who runs the engineering department at a college in Pennsylvania, decided to find the breaking strength of my large Tubular Kevlar a few years ago. It let go at 10,000 pounds, but he doesn't consider it a valid test because it broke at the knot.
Heat resistance is far more important. Nylon cords are strong, but heat weakens them, and the only way to tell that you had a cord with a heat-weakened spot is that's where it broke.
I'm not saying your spelunking tests are irelevant or disrespecting your work in any way. I just want to point out that there are different grades and compositions of Kevlar cord. Even the difference between Kevlar thread, yarn and braid is substantial. You were testing specific grades of cord for a specific purpose. We've done a lot of testing of our cords, not to mention adjusting of specs...that's why we buy Kevlar cords from three different manufacturers.
G. Harry Stine was the one who convinced me that stretchy shock cords were not a wonderful idea. Yes, they absorb energy...and they use it to pull your nosecone back toward the body, sometimes smacking into it. IIRC, in small models Harry used carpet thread for shock cord. Bill Stine's Quest rocket kits may well be the ideal compromise: he gives you a length of Kevlar to secure into the rocket, which you tie to a length of elastic to complete the shock cord. Best of both worlds.
Rope and cord technology has developed to an amazing degree in the last few years. Some of the literature I get from suppliers is amazing. I can get cords with unthinkable tensile strength, heat resistance, you name it...for ten bucks a foot! NASA can afford to make Mars lander parachute shrouds out of that stuff, but somehow I don't think rocket modelers will rush right out and buy it.
Sorry to blather; I hope this contributes to the discussion. Doug Pratt dad-at-pratthobbies-dot-com