I have the same response to Azo...some prints are just amazing on azo and actually take relatively few steps to do very well. Others have taken dozens of sheets and still aren't right. And it's the ones that do well that keep me motivated.
I will try Bergger/Dektol the next time I can. Have you tried Bergger with the dektol/selectol combo or split grade printing it? Is there a way that work's best to nail both range and deep blacks?
I have not attended one of Per's workshops, although we did the Michael Smith workshop together at his house. We live one mile apart. He has been very, very kind to me, teaching me things and mounting a stack of prints for me once. And yes, his prints are very good.