So I looked and attempted to transcribe what I could see from both Misgav's and Yardeni's line drawings and the photos from the Hebrew University. Even so, I was still unable to make heads or tails of Qeiyafa. My transcription has many blanks where I was uncertain of the letter and couldn't even hazard a guess.
I set the Qeiyafa ostracon aside again and went looking for information on 'Izbet Sartah, recalling that I was told it would make a better paleographical comparison than Gezer, for example.
The 'Izbet Sartah inscription
(drawing via www.andreascenter.org)
The Qeiyafa discovery is important because of its 10th century dating. But the script appears much less developed than a 10th century inscription like Gezer. The better paleographical analogue is a 12th century text - 'Izbet Sartah. All of that is introduction to this one idle musing. What if the 10th century archaeological context for the ostracon merely provides a terminus ad quem for a possibly earlier text? If Qeiyafa is more like 'Izbet Sartah than Gezer (left to right writing, more primitive letter forms, etc.), then isn't it more likely that Qeiyafa is a 12th or 11th century text? And if that's the case, is it really even a possibility that we could call the language of the text Hebrew? Any thoughts from those of you more learned in paleography than I?