If the base is the issue, Ilford Galerie graded has the whitest base out there of anything I've tried. Oddly, it's whiter than Ilford MGFBIV, which I would have thought would be on the same base. Warmtone papers are often on a slightly off-white base, which may be what's troubling you.

Have you tried local bleaching, with potassium ferricyanide? This is great for giving highlights just a little extra sparkle.

Selenium toning the neg also has the potential to push up the highlights. I use Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner 1+3 for 8 minutes to get one stop of additional highlight density.

Also, be sure that it's not just an issue of drydown. If your prints look good wet, but seem to loose their brilliance when they dry, then you'll want to think about this. If you use the same paper all the time, you can eventually develop an intuition for how a wet print should look, but otherwise, Les McLean has written about testing for drydown so that you can calculate it and incorporate it into your exposure times.