I think there is a lot of wisdom in working the process from the print backwoards. After I decide something I see (or create) will look good as a photograph, I look at the tonal scale as it will compliment the feeling of the photograph. When I meter it, I will want to see that the tonal range will fit the paper I want to print it on. I got a lot of use out of my split ND filter this trip because it brought some 7 stop ranges down to 5 stops and I know that will make them easier to print. If I was in a situation where the image could not be improved by a top half / bottom half compensation, I would have to expose a little more and develop a little less. Any negative that captures exactly what you wanted to print and does not require extensive manipulation is in my mind a perfect negative.