A good question to ask yourself at this point is: Why am I using EL? or What benefit am I getting from it at this point?
If the point of EL, JSTL, and jsp:useBean is to help factor the Java scriptlets out of the JSP code, but you're still using Java scriptlets in your JSP code, what is EL doing for you? Why not just use <%=...%>?
From what I can see, it's just adding another layer of indirection and obsfucation.
If you're not going to move the scriptlets out of the JSPs, ditch all the other tools and write your code in Java. At least you'll make it easy for Java developers to work with your code.