I have been using the technique of developing by inspection for a while now, and have become rather accustomed to it, and see no real alternative for the precise control it offers, at least with my small amount of experience with sheet film.
Up until now I have used Agfa Rodinal at 1+50 and have been pleased with the results, using FP4+ and various Kodak films.
I wonder which side is best to inspect on, however. The emulsion side or the base side? I read that Michael A. Smith likes to view the base side, when he uses Pyro developers. I don't use Pyro developers, so I wonder if that is true for a developer such as Rodinal too. If I remember correctly, Rodinal is more of a surface acting developer than Pyro.
I have been inspecting on the emulsion side up until now, out of fear that I'd scratch the emulsion if it was face down in the developer.
Thankful for insight,