I was hoping you'd respond!!
Anyway, I tried cutting down the drop count to 24 drops total before and it seemed to lessen the time for coating by quite a bit but the Dmax I was getting was a bit less than the higher drop count. I'm beginning to think that Dmax may not entirely be related to drop count, however, and maybe a faster coat may yield a good Dmax by not wasting time working the sensitizer deeper into the paper with prolonged brushing. I'll try this again with a shorter coating time. Thanks for your help.
Mateo, I think you echo Kerik's comments but somewhere I read people were using 2ml sensitizer per 8x10--with 20 drops per ml, I thought that would be 40 drops per 8x10 sheet.