Hmm. Mine is very consistent and controllable - I vary it by 2 factors - (1) the flour I use for the final dusting of the dough before leaving to rise - rice flour gives me thicker and firmer crust than wholewheat, which has the same edge over white; and (2) varying the amount of flour at that stage - more flour, more crust.
The Tartine cook-in-a-dutch-oven thing does absolute wonders.
I've mixed the methods from Tartine and "Bread Matters" by Andrew Whitley. AW's sardonic and pragmatic Northern English approach contrasts beautifully with the misty San Francisco romance of Tartine - which is, however, exactly what drew me in to "feeling" the bread more.
I started off with the Leith method, and soon discovered that the Grand British Tradition of doing everything the Leith way has a lot to do with the quality of food in the UK. It's all about serving non-poisonous food adequately cooked for a half-decent pub. Had one or two tips that took me into a zone where I understood I needed to learn much, much more about bread, dough, and the etc.
Anyways, after 100 loaves I'm making better stuff than I can get in any store, "artisan" or not. I did discover that Man Can Live On Bread Alone, for a while, but tasty bread slowly builds around the waistline, especially when combined with nice olive oil.
Check out the twitter feed @shiptonmill (yes, I've even become snotty about my flour - but actually, it's cheaper than the supermarket, it's organic, and gorgeous) - there's some Spanish chap they highlight from time to time who bakes amazing breads.
Agreed on the sandwiches - big bubbles San Francisco sourdough doesn't lend itself to holding back the flood of mayo.
I'm determined to make croissants and crumpets, Someday.