Another "Down the road" idea...
Once we get to a point where we have some bosses on farm and some we're wiping to for progression...
Have raids on 2 nights completely. Like we're doing with vermouth now, have raid #1 be the "easy bosses" and raid #2 being "progression bosses". But keep raid #1 very short, like 2 hours max. This leaves some work to be done in raid #2 still perhaps before the actual progression but leaves time to learn bosses etc.
Night #1, we open it up to whoever wants to come. Guildies not normally in the raid, alts, raid applicants, friends, family, random pugs, we don't care. Loot isn't tracked on this night and just do some form of fair random looting. This means that several regulars can blow off the first night completely if they want. Or as I mentioned, bring your alts if you want.
Night 2 is the one that counts towards SK list, etc. Night 1 is optional to even happen... if you can't reasonably get the raid together with those who want to come, oh well, blow it off. But if it can happen, we get better progression raiding on night 2.
This way, night 1 we would be very friendly and casual and invite whoever.
Night 2 we would be assholes and only invite the elite as regulars. With our current raid makeup as an example, this might mean that we only have 15 regulars and 20 subs instead of 25 regulars and 10 subs. But by shuffling people through on night 1 (applicants, friends, etc) we can hopefully make more new good contacts for probably raiders on night #2?
Anyway, this is probably all hypothetical anyway, since night #1 would obviously have to be a night before Friday night, which already excludes the aussies, and that's probably a no-no. And that's been our problem all along with any 2 night approach. But it sounded good in my head so I thought I would post it