If one focuses on find the chroma/saturation plateau, everything else will follow, including color gradations. Excellent color profiles, of course, play a huge role in these color gradations. Less than the best profiling software can produce disappointing color gradations at several color density settings.
Assuming one is using the best color profiling technology available (which IMO means Monaco Profiler and i1Profiler), one only needs to focus on finding the chroma/saturation sweet spot while avoiding pooling and "ink smudging". My experience suggests that all other subjective visual observations should be ignored, including color transitions and the apparent loss of shadow detail that the profile will deal with. Of course, colorimetricly analyzing and finding the chroma/saturation sweet spot is a tricky thing for most people, because it can't be done by eye - it requires spectrophotometers, software and willingness to conquer the learning curve.
People like Terry Wyse here know this well, because the process of determining per channel and total ink limits, linearization and profiling with a RIP is a real craft that takes years to master. In the process, it teaches you more about inkjet technology that one can ever get from just using printer drivers that have these ink limits, linearization curves and separation parameters baked in.