No apology necessary. I'm doing VC/RC paper, mostly. Yes, the print may be/ should be used as the final judge, but I often go on how the neg looks, too. Anything other than EI 20 with PF in 120 size give me a thin neg, even with a divided dev.
Perhaps it's me and my process, IDK, but I thought I'd pass along the info. The OP may get something very different.