As someone who prints only other folks' negatives, I find that there is no real consistency between negatives. Even aerial film varies greatly from one roll and one flyer to another. Different contrasts, different densities/exposures. This is one reason why I asked a while back how important all the strict time and temperatures with chemistry is. Seems like the key to a good negative depends equally on the photographer getting enough range and reasonable density, and the printer being willing to play a bit to find the best print according to the end desires.

I can't imagine their being something like a perfect negative, because the question would have to be perfect for what? for whom? Only in the end can there be an almost perfect print, and how you get there doesn't really matter. And as soon as you think it is a perfect print, someone will disagree. So do what feels good for you to work with, where is your comfort level?

I suppose there could be an impossible negative, but not a perfect one.