I think you must use VC paper. I recently shipped all my graded paper to a student friend of mine just to get it out of my darkroom. Now instead of having 3 or more boxes of paper for every type, I have one. I go through that box faster and therefore it is fresher. It is fresher from the store, too. Even with PMK (which I'm using), you may not wish to have a 1:1 transfer of negative scale to paper scale. It is nice to compress unimportant areas and expand the more interesting areas. A common example is a landscape scene with a few clouds in the sky. The sky may occupy the greatest part of the scale and if you print on a graded paper, your shadows may easily look lifeless. Better to print the shadows with a higher grade filter and print the highlights in with a lower contrast filter. That's the key to VC paper...different contrasts in different areas of the print, because natural lighting is never perfect, but it is your job to make it look that way. It is also very handy if you want a 1/2 grade or a 1/4 grade. You can tweek the grades down to nothing steps if you need to.

I find VC to be plenty fast. With 5x7 negs I'm using an ND filter on the coldlight to slow things down and optimize the f-number (not use f/32 or f/45).

Take more pix.