Well, I just tried my new popcorn recipe: grated parmesan (parmigiana-reggiano, fresh grated) , splatter screen, garlic salt, and preheated pan/oil
the parmesan was brilliant, not sure who mentioned it first in this thread.
splatter screen worked pretty well, small mess on the stove, but I think the popcorn was much crisper.
Still not sure preheating the pan did anything here...will try next time w/o this and see if it's different.
Thanks for the ideas guys! Now I need to find Jalepeno powder and nutritional yeast....pretty hard to believe yeast will replace the parmesan though.