[[Kess, Dissident Mage]] seems like it would hit a lot of your marks. You can really build it to the power level you want (anything from casual jank to tier 1 competitive), it almost always wins outside of combat (through various means from big x-spells to [[Aetherflux Reservoir]]), it has a heavy self mill / graveyard theme, and while kess is nice the deck can work without her. Focusing on graveyard + instants and sorceries gives the deck a lot of synergy which is nice (funner than grixis good stuff imho). Worth a look maybe?
I run a similar list, minus the discard theme, and love the deck as it just has so much synergy but against non-cedh decks it seems unbalanced. I was thinking of removing [[Squandered Resources]] and some tutors but what you're saying makes sense. It's just the recursion is funnest part!