I will take a stab....I have done a lot of sharpening over the years. Some good and a lot bad. It was only when I consistently raised a burr that I developed consistent results.I'm going through a similar "just need to practice" phase where I have pretty good results but I'm not at the level some people describe.
Also I got some advice from a guy named Ken S. on another forum who said getting a burr was a sign you're not sharpening well. Struck me as an odd comment. Does anyone else consider no burr a sharpening goal?