I too used to use Varigam. It wasn't very good, at best. However, in my opinion, the current Ilford MG IV fiber base paper is superior to any paper I have used - including most of the graded papers that have disappeared. If you learn just a bit about working with it you can do more than was ever possible on graded papers. The tonality is superior, the contrast range possible is greater - all in all it is just a great improvement. And filters under the lens do not have a detectable effect on image quality - both in my opinion and, if you don't trust me, have a look at Ctein's book "Post exposure".