Here is the question I'm asked many times: why I can set my monitor to 1:200 contrast ratio and make a good representation of the 1:1000 scene I shot;
Good question, but I guess it comes down to "a good repersentation". How is that defined? It's probably largely subjective.
[QUOTE... but to match a 1:120 print viewed in a Normlicht booth I still need to set my monitor to 1:120 or even lower.[/QUOTE]
Well, to me that makes sense. One needs to set the monitor to something similar as the goal to allow a predictable preview. Therefore, I think the issue lies in the appreciation of "good" in the high contrast case. That's where the human visual system comes in. When viewed on a large enough screen, our eyes will automatically compensate for local contrast differences. When the differences are large, then there is more compensation. However, when the differences are small, it's going to remain pretty much as it is.
I'm told by far too many seasoned photographers that current printer profiling does not match user expectations, and those expectations are not baseless.
When the mismatch is not based on physics (as measured with a spectro, and corrected with a profile, and viewed in a calibrated environment), it must be psychological/vison related.