All I see is a dip tube in the cold port, an anode in its own port, a nipple in the hot and the T&P.
Now, it’s time to ask you, very seriously, why did you post here? Most people post because they’re looking for a solution to a problem. You seem to want to argue with us about everything we’ve said.
I get the impression you came to get corroboration that your assumptions are correct. We’re telling you they’re wrong. Larry invented the concept of water heater service and has been inside about 4,000, and he did solar before that. I can’t match that, but I’m seen my share.
Just because you found a piece of plastic in the hot port, doesn’t mean there was ever a tube there. You assumed that. I don’t know who drew the How Things Work water heater diagram, but it’s wrong. There are never outlet tubes in the hot port of a normal water heater.
The 2005 design change has no bearing on you because your tank preceded that by a lot.
If you try to put a dip tube in the hot port, of whatever length, it’s probably going to instantly drop to the bottom of the heater, unless it’s one like I sell that have a nipple attached. If you put that in, it’s going to degrade the performance of the heater a little.
Larry has offered to troubleshoot your flow problem. Your response: “I’ve already done everything imaginable.” If you want a solution, stop talking and start listening!