I use drums and they are washed between each use so I dont think tar is a problem for me. I agree, the developer as tweaked seems very good, and the other formula does involve some expensive/hard to source chemicals.
I am about to use up my liter of "tweaked" developer, and will make up another batch with the original amount of carbonate and maybe 6g CD3, and see what happens. I want to end up with one formula optimized for general use, and one for printing ECN-2 negatives.
Reflectin on PE's comment that you posted above -- I wonder what would happen if one were to take out triethanolamine and replace it with benzyl alcohol?