And frankly, whether you like the results from replenished developers or not is a matter of taste. From what I have observed, I see only positives, usually finer grain, sharper negs, and more pleasing tonality.
For the home user doing small batches it's all about keeping a critical eye on the process, and do as you say if bromide levels go out of balance or acceptable range.
I just finished a five year stint maintaining not one, but two replenished developers for film, and am maintaining a replenished print developer since about eight years.
Not once have I had to dump and start over, and results have been way above expectation.
At one time there was an article on the unblinkingeye website describing Harvey's Panthermic 777 developer which was used with replenishment. It described the need to periodically dump a portion of the developer. It was very seldom that the entire bath was dumped.
Does anybody use test strips to monitor the strength of their replenished soup?
Like any good tool, like the DD-X I use (and even re-use per Ilford's instructions), like the WD2D+ I play with one-shot here and there, like micro replenished LPD, like my micro replenished C-41 and RA work: when I strip away/analyze my results and failures, I invariably find the tool in question was doing exactly what it was advertised to do.
I'm not suggesting you start a replenished line, it is work to learn any new system, but there are real practical advantages to using one even for people shooting small volumes.
A great example of this is people who shoot say two sheets of 4x5 on a friend's portrait one weekend, and they only have a Nikor tank (or similar) to develop that film in, and it holds about a liter or so of chemicals. People like this have a choice; go one shot and dump a liter of chemicals that hasn't been fully utilized, or wait until they have a "tank-full" of film (tell their buddy it's going to be a few months), or spend 35ml of Xtol stock (or whatever #ml replenisher is in use) on a replenished line.
This scales up perfectly too. A portrait shop can do two sheets after each sitting (send the client out for a coffee while they wait) whether that's one a week or 5 a day.
The print developer does get radically recycled as the gallon kit gets reused, but I'm just following instructions. I have never tried to continue replenishing LPD without dumping most of the batch at the end of each gallon cycle.
I think we are at two flip sides of this coin, and I'm happy to agree to disagree with you.
Yeesh. Please everyone read what Kodak has to say about replenishment. Perhaps it will add some perspective. It is a compromise for economy, not much more than that.