Hi Gandolfi - your web site was a big influence for me to try this, and I can't express my appreciation for the amount of info you've posted around the web on this process. (And I really want to try Foma on canvas with Bromoil...)
Paper is Fomabron Variant 4; sold by FreeStyle as a Bromoil paper - seems to be working. Bleached with the bostick-sullivan bleaching kit, it went just as described. Since I'm doing 8x10's, I "super-dried" in a warm oven for a few minutes. Don't know know necessary that is.
I'll try the damp sponge - all of the rock stars of this process return it to a water tray, that's what I tried. But it seems water on the emulsion side is really what it needs.
Overall, this reminds me of when I made my concrete countertops - you can read and read and read about troweling concrete, but nothing describes what the "feel" of it is. On this first print I found myself going "ahhh, that's the deal"... feeling the ink get moved around, especially with the fine sponges Gandolfi recommends. You can really feel the ink getting lifted.
So to clarify - ink that is as stiff as I described is in the ballpark for stiffness? That stuff is STIFF.