Unlucky on failing the VCP, it kinda sucks but you'll be more ready next time!Your home lab looks good in terms of hardware and being able to simulate examples for study.
vCOPS and vROPS are quite similar in my eyes in terms of usability, features are obviously different and there are some fundamental changes in it's architecture and the way it is deployed. As I'm sure you know, vCOPS became vROPS in version 6. The main difference in my eyes is that is is now deployed as a single node (basic) and not as two seperate UI/Analytics VM's in a vAPP. It will consume a fair amount of system resource, but perhaps only run it for testing the sections in the blueprint and get the feel of the product. Your lab isn't huge so it shouldn't struggle too much with resources, it's not like you are monitoring an enterprise infrastructure with it!
I think if you are worried about vCOPS, make sure you are comfortable with section 7.3 of the VCP5.5 blueprint. Ensure you can tick the boxes off on all of those sections. The 5.5 blueprint mentions vCOPS so make sure you are learning a version that is 5.x!
Happy to help further if you need?