I have had very good luck coating silver gelatin on Fabriano Artistico Extra White watercolor paper. It hits a middle ground between emulsion that enters the paper (platinum) and emulsion that sits on top (gelatin on baryta). I'm recording my research at this address: http://dwrphotos.com/blog/EmulsionResearch.htm
There is picture of a 5x7 neg contact printed on FabArt with silver gelatin emulsion entered on Aug 8-9. Like all papers with a slight tooth, flatbed scanning creates the appearance of fog. The original has wonderful dmax with rich, dense blacks and clean highlights.
Thanks for sharing, I've read your blog with great interest and encourage you to perservere. Nice set up BTW. Good luck and keep us posted.
Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.