Hey Cameron,
Hope all is well.  In answer to your question, 1 Samuel seems like its a biographical narrative and that means the people are the most important component.  You have Hannah and then Eli, then Samuel, the Ark material you mentioned is either used by the author as an actual character(representing the person of the Lord) as it sort of fills in for one, after that its Saul, and then David.  The David material is probably broken into different divisions itself.

I encourage you, go ahead and disagree with me.  If you think there is something else going on, then just go right ahead and prove it.  You just have to be able to substantiate what you’re concluding based on the text(you don’t get to go to another book).  The whole reason that I taught you inductive is EXACTLY so that you can prove me wrong. However, it seems pretty clear to me that Hannah is a strong representation of a genuine born-again experience that takes place in a person’s life when they cry out to God but they only invest in their relationship with God when it suits them.  They keep their relationship with God to themselves until such time that they let it be known but compartmentalize their commitment to a “more traditional” dynamic of going to church twice a year on holidays.

Again you are welcome to disagree with me but it answers all the questions.  You must deal with the questions that the text wants you to answer.  Outside of this Type-antitype model I think you would have to stretch the text. 
After Hannah’s birth(technically Samuel’s) – We see her indeed joyful, but Joe, take
a look at her “song of Joy.”  She thinks this birth vindicates her in this competition with Peninah.  She is spewing forth bitterness, rejoicing in unrighteousness, and clearly wants Peninah to go to Hell.  The only reason you might object to this is you don’t want to entertain the idea that Hannah is not a good woman.  Joe, as clear as I can make it, let me tell you I do not think Hannah is a bad woman. 

This conversation has the tenor of our conversation about Paul in the book of Acts… Remember Paul isn’t Jesus part 2, and just because he got saved, and gave his life to the Lord doesn’t mean he became perfect.
Right off the bat we see this woman Hannah, in an unbiblical relationship.  We see she is bitter, ashamed, envious, and angry.  You cant make a case that she is a sweet woman before the birth, and then after the birth she still wants Peninah dead. 

All I am saying is that Hannah is imperfect.  Consequently, she becomes a great type of the majority of believers today.  But I am willing to put that on the table if you can prove me wrong.