I don't know what pans you guys are using on what engines but I have never had a leak with plain oil resistant RTV smeared on each side of the gasket.
I've never scuffed the pan, I just make sure the block and pan are clean. And DON'T crank the hell out of the bolts. just get them snug.
I really don't understand how you guys are having trouble with something that I really give little attention to and have never had a problem on any engine I've done, 4, 6, 8, single cylinder, cast or stamped pans, etc. never a problem with just a clean surface and oil resistant RTV.
To be honest I've even done a few with no gasket and JUST rtv and had no problems, but I would recommend using a gasket if you have one, especially on a sbc where there's a considerable gap on the front and rear.