Christopher, I would highly recommend split grade printing to you. If you're not familiar search the archives, there are plenty of threads. Basically, you set the important highlight tone with the grade 0 filter. Then go back and set your blacks with the grade 5 filter. This gives you control of highlights and shadows independently instead of chasing both with a single filter.

If you were to stick with a single grade, remember that exposure sets your highlights. So choose a filter, starting lower rather than higher, say grade 2. Find the exposure that gets your highlights where you'd like them. Once there, look at your blacks. If there are too dull and gray, you need to up your contrast. If your blacks are too dense and dark, you need to lower the contrast.