Phill,
In the larger context of what your original question asked...that is, what will give me the print quality that I want? Because after all the negative is only the means to the print.

I think that what Frank alluded to has a great deal of merit. I would go a step further with this though. I think to have a truly workable system one needs to study the sensitometric qualities of the paper that is used. I think that the system that Phil Davis espouses (BTZS) has approached this in a way that no one ever has...certainly not Ansel Adams.

From the little that I understand about this system, the analysis of materials begins with the paper. By contact printing a Stouffer 21 step tablet at the desired paper grade one is able to determine what the paper will represent in density range. From that analysis the next step is to determine the film's EI(s) and the development time(s) to achieve as near as possible the camera negative's contrast range that will match the paper's ability to represent that contrast range.

Clay, Sandy, and Jorge are all probably better versed on the actual procedure of the testing, plotting etc. But I believe, in a general way, that this is a fair representation of this system.