First ask yourself what sort of direction you want to move in vs stock D-76. Asked another way, what specifically don't you like about it, or what specifically you are looking for. That will help a lot, because much of what is written about staining developers is more myth than anything else. For example, "highlight separations" are frequently talked about. I found no advantage over a moderately diluted solvent developer like D-76, nor does rational sensitometry support this notion. Another strange argument concerns "grain masking". For one thing the formulators are careful to point out this effect (combined with lower silver densities) can lead to finer grain in comparison to non-staining high definition developers, not in comparison to solvent developers. The other interesting thing about grain masking is it requires the spreading of dye. This would appear to contradict the purported effects of tanning and reduced "migration" (questionable) on acutance.

Much of my photography is dones under extreme subject contrast conditions. I worked a lot with PMK and WD2D+ Pyro formulas. They are fine developers, but not magical. The Pyrocat formulas developed by Sandy King use Catechol. The most common version is the Phenidone-Catechol Pyrocat HD. I have never used it but it has a fine reputation. It also appears to be more flexible than the above mentioned Pyro formulas in that people use it with rotary processing, reduced agitation techniques and some even use it as a two bath.

Just remember, you don't get something for nothing. You can't have both high acutance and fine grain, and you can't have both highlight compensation and enhanced highlight separation. There is no "free lunch".