You have the best option by far, in my opinion. The Panorama Trail (that's what you follow from Glacier Point) is probably the most beautiful trail in Yosemite, and it's quiet and peaceful. Fabulous way to start the hike. Just forget the "purism" thing, if John Muir did the hike today, he'd take the Panorama. By contrast, the first few miles up from Happy Isles is a slog through crowds of people, the first part on concrete.
4 mile is also really worth doing. It's a relentless but steady 10% gradient, very well made trail with no exposure. Way easier than Whitney, so should be well within your abilities! The only aspect of the "purism" thing that I might favor is that it's kind of cool to start from the valley floor and feel that you've "earned" the views up top. Plus, there's ice cream for lunch at the Glacier point cafe.
I'd say that the loop from the valley floor up 4-mile, along Panorama and back around to Happy Isles is probably one of the premier day hikes anywhere in the world.
all the best
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, David Hughes <dghughes11@...> wrote:
> After hearing all the stories I am stoked to get a permit for the day I wanted. It is from Glaicer point to LYV.
> I wanted to start at happy isles and be a purest to do the whole JMT trial. I was wondering should I just be happy and start at Glacier Point? Otherwise I was going to see if I could get a start at happy isles. Or should I try to exchange on the day i pick up my permit? Or should I just not care?
> The 4 mile trial added on to this looks pretty tough for the first day. Should I just take the shuttle to Glacier Point?
> So happy right now to have a permit on the day I wanted.