Joe, I agree with you. I think Fred even said that the best negative was the thinnest negative that held appropriate information in all zones, or something like that. Anyway, I'm sure of the thinnest negative part. Count me among those who followed Fred's methods for years.
I find those negatives too thin for printing on Azo, so I've also begun moving shadows up to ZIV to get the required density. But I wonder if I never properly placed the zones to start with. I suspect that may be the true trouble.
Remember when considering film speed that the ASA standards were changed in the late 50s-early 60s. The film speeds were doubled. Maybe that's why so many of us halve the film speed.