Quote Originally Posted by sterioma
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the Portra BW film here in Italy (yet?). Only T400CN (which I take is discontinued by now) and XP2. On the other side, having traditional BW films developed is not an issue since my lab does that at a reasonable price (less than 2 euro for a 36 exp roll).

After all these suggestions, I guess I will try both XP2 and TriX/HP5 and find out which one I like most (both in traditional printing and in digital scans).
T400CN scans very well and should do nicely if you can't find Portra 400. The C41 route is really your best bet if you're not processing yourself as it removes a lot of variables from the equation.