After reading your question a few times (and re-writing my answer just as many), IMO the development process has more of an impact on the expressive negative. I tend to think of exposure as either right (i.e. what you wanted) or wrong. The choices of developer and time (N+, N- etc) for any given film are almost endless, resulting in a mind boggling array of grain structure & appearance and contrast. I think this will be more important to the final print than being off by a third or half stop in exposure.