Somehow, the topic came up in a few private messages with a friend on, believe it or not, a photography forum. And I tried the recommended recipe.
My quest is over.
So - may I present Alton Brown's Southern Biscuits recommended to me by my photographer and cooking buddy, Lee. Thank you, Lee! Not that you'll ever read this, HAHA...
(psst - I doubled the recipe because, um, we really like biscuits - so if you don't like biscuits like I do, then cut this baby in half)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry cutter. Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.