Keep an eye out for PE's next workshop. I sat in on his New York workshop just for one day, and I was very impressed by the things they were working on. Obviously the participants were all beginners in silver gelatin emulsion making, but they were able to make an Azo-type emulsion in three contrast grades without much difficulty, and they learned about tweaking the formula to do things like adjusting the toe, and could coat on a variety of papers, providing much more control over the process than one can get with Azo or a similar type paper. Of course it's also a lot more work to coat your own and requires some practice to produce consistent coatings, but if you want that level of control, it may be worth it to you.
Participants also worked on coating film and plates with an ortho emulsion of around EI 40, and it was good to see that you could make a usable film with modest materials and equipment.