I find your input in the forum valuable, Bill.
Often I'm a little bit too self centered in my view, and not empathetic enough. To me, photography is all about getting to the point of having a a fine print made. All of the choices I made prior to that is distilled at this point, and assembled in the print. Without the print there is no photography, in my mind.
But then I realize that there are a great many people who like to work things out in their heads first, to plot curves and make graphs; visual representations of what their film behaves like in different developers. This sort of testing is vital in keeping alive the knowledge behind what makes film work, but it clashes pretty violently in my head with the idea of 'just go make some damned prints already, and show us what you mean in a real world scenario'...
It's understood that each and every one of us has some of each in us, but individually the balance between the two is different.
I know that I just want to get to the end state of printing, so I make sure that I know my materials well. But it's always trial and error with me, where I figure out what works by using it. I'm happy when I go into the darkroom and make a print that I am proud of, and I don't have to spend too much precious paper and time to get there. After years of working with mainly Tri-X and TMax 400, and Ilford MGIV or Fomabrom 112 paper, in Ethol LPD, there's a basic understanding of what works and what doesn't. The difficult part when printing, I think comes in doing the final minute adjustments that make the difference between a good print and a great one. That seems to never be the same twice. So the faster I can get to 'acceptable' the better it is, which is where the 'get on with it and show us the damned picture' comes into play.
To wrap up - I hope that as many as possible of those who participate here, who discuss, opine, and theorize about photographic methodology and concepts, are putting their knowledge to work in the darkroom, churning out prints and practicing with all that knowledge.
I don't really know what Panatomic-X was like, and maybe it was magical, but in my limited experience of doing this for 15 years, I have not yet discovered any film that improved my photographs. I have learned a great many things about darkroom work, however, that did improve my photographs quite substantially.
Ultimately: it's quite clear to me where I need to place my focus and hard work.