I would like to mention a quick note here: I do like Pyrocat very much and appreciate Sandy's work in developing it and documenting it. [and supporting the folks that take advantage of all his work - like me] You have my thanks Sandy. I also use graded silver fiber papers mostly but others frequently as well. For enlarging, I typically try to keep densities down like many folks who develop for the enlarger. Less dense negs seem sharper and smoother when enlarged.
As far as grain and sharpness; that is the opinion of many - including several authors I have read. Edge effects, which increase the appearance of sharpness are less noticable in very fine grain structure films [like tech pan, pan f, etc] High solivent developers certainly erode edge effects and can create images that do not appear as sharp and are certainly less grainy. It is this that makes TRI-X and Microdol a nice combo - the coarse grain of TRI-X gets smoothed out by the high solivent developer and creates a sharp appearing yet less grainy print.
I will continue to use Pyrocat and will experiment with 2:2:100 [abandoning the 1:1:100 for a while] and develop times for enlarging and see what effect that has on the low values as far as film speed. I do not have a densitometer [yet] and so my results are not lab stuff - just - what do the prints have or lack when they hang on the wall. That doesn't mean I am sloppy or non technical - just more pragmatic about my methodology - not unlike many other folks that hang around here.
Anyway let no one think I am throwing stones and anyone - Sandy or Steve - I just want to understand these tools better. So thanks