My vote would be "buy a tent and deal with it", as you've said.
. . . i.e. Coleman 10" steel stakes, or for a canvas tent--rebar, use taut guy lines, no flapping or loose anything, and pitch the tent North of a vehicle. The odds are better that your tent won't
be destroyed, if you do it right. I had a $40 dome tent survive 4 burns and many storms, including the two immense storms of 2008 (after which I bought a new one, just to be safe). Of course, there is always the possibility
that you'll do everything right, and it'll be wrecked anyway.
Lots of people bring hammocks, so bring one and enjoy--they are fun in shade structures for daytime naps, because there's adequate air circulation outside of a tent--but sleeping outside at night should be an elective, not your default choice. It rained and gusted for several hours at night in 2010, two days before Gates opened. My tent was a trouper.