You've tried wafers, cubes, blocks, peat pots and bands. How about corncobs? Old cobs can make great seed-starting containers.
Cut dry corncobs into 2" sections. Soak them in manure tea for about a month, until they're son but still hold theft shape. Then set them in a flat or outdoors in a seedling bed. Press one or two seeds into each section, cover with a one-half inch of fine soil or compost and water well. Mulch with straw or plastic to keep the cobs moist.
Once the seedlings are up, remove the covering and water as needed. At transplant time, just set the cob sections directly into the garden.