I went through the zone system process to calibrate my negatives, and by just doing that I improved my exposures dramatically -- even using an incident meter.

Barry Thornton (The Edge of Darkness) recommends that by overexposing by one stop (eg. using iso 200 vs. the rated 400) and underdeveloping by 20% will show improvement. I verifed that this is true for me. Try this with your B&W film, and you should see an immediate improvement in exposure control with no muss or fuss.