Mark,

Another method of handling these high scene brightness ratio (high contrast) situations is through proportional exposure as opposed to reduction in development.

Reduction in development will always lead to a compression of highlight values. Proportional exposure will maintain highlight tonal separation. I have a couple of images posted in the technical gallery that show the results obtainable with this process. This will work in situations where one would have SBRs of 11 or N-4.