I've used just about everything there is. Ironically, after two winter brightwork failures on my cockpit table, I've gone back to the original. Epifanes clear spar varnish. Its been around for 100 years, despite all the new fangled coatings, for a reason.
I'd forgotten how much nicer it is to work with real varnish. Its a bit time consuming, as you must wait at least 24 hrs between coats and 6 to 10 are necessary, depending on exposure. You must also sand between coats, but that also allows for a smoother finish and its easier to thoroughly recoat, when not applying over another shiny surface.
They make a variety of matte, satin, gloss etc.
I know you aren't a fan of gloss, but here is my work in progress. 6 coats, I may get 10 on before I'm done. Its a leaf from our cockpit table. The reflection is the pic hanging on the wall behind it.