Thanks for the attention to my concerns. I am still a little hesitant to accept that I can safely limit my apps to only the top 6, but that is only my own insecurity talking. Is it important that my undergrad GPA was mediocre and I was rejected from every top 25 school during my first go-round? My LSAT is 168. I know the importance of these things is greatly diminished, but many schools at least pay lip service to the "would have been accepted as a 1L" deal.
1) Your undergrad stats don't matter for transferring. I didn't even get into a T1 my first go round. The "take you as a 1L may be BS".
2) GULC is probably the closest thing you would have to a "safety", but transfers are weird and if you want to stay in TX, you're probably better off keeping your rank.
3) It is VERY VERY hard to get into YHS from a T2. If you really want to transfer, the schools you should primarily focus on are Columbia, NYU, Penn, and Michigan. Berkeley seemed to only take people with CA ties and UVA only takes people with VA residency for the most part (I've heard similar for Duke and NC ties). I think in your case (if you're really #1) that Harvard and Chicago would be worth the applications, but nothing is guaranteed. Cornell isn't worth it because you want TX and they don't let people do OCI. You'll probably get GULC, and it might be the closest thing you have to a "safety" but I don't know how worth it it is in your case. NW is worth the application if you have WE and think you'd like the environment (which it sounds like you do, since you're married).
4) If your school is in TX and you want to stay in TX, it's just better to stay put than go to GULC or try to transfer to some "safety". While schools like Vandy/UT might be good for a native student, it's different when you transfer. However, you will have plenty of TX opportunities at any T10/14 OCI.
5) Talk to your wife. If she doesn't want to leave TX, then just stay put at your school. You will have perfectly fine opportunities at your school for TX jobs. There is no reason to give up rank/LR/$$$ and chase prestige if you're just going back to where you came from forever. Normally, I'd say applying to UT isn't terrible in that situation -- but they basically take 0 transfers unless you have a reason to be in Austin.