I agree that dmax is simply one measurement of a paper's characteristics. However, I will go on to say, that having printed on Kentmere Fineprint VC (a paper that has a dmax of 1.87 by my measurements) it is extremely difficult to arrive at a print that I appreciate with that limitation. I can tell that without comparing prints side by side.

There are several good papers on the market. Azo was one of them. Nuance is a very good paper in my experience. I have heard good things about Kentmere Bromide...but then I have heard the same things about Kentmere Fineprint VC at one time.

Oriental has a good dmax but it does not have the rest of the curve that other papers have.