If you wanna go halfway, there's always BIN. Not too smelly, but it works. Also thin, doesn't really leave brush marks, and sands the best of any primer around. I've never had people really complain too much about using BIN, but Kilz and Cover Stain they have most definitely complained. I think with BIN you could get away without sanding as long as everything was clean, too. I used BIN on varnished/polyed? oak recently without sanding and it adhered great.
I think with WB primers they always say they need 2-3 days to cure before you can really judge adhesion. So if you go for those common products and use them, you can test like that and see. Even with Fresh Start 046 I'd sometimes have adhesion issues after just a day, but usually they do lock down after 3 or so. They sort of say the same thing with stains, too. I had a surprise of sorts using 1-2-3 and Problock on stains recently, I did a big popcorn removal in my own house and used too much water and ended up staining my own walls somehow, and the stains went through 1 coat of Problock, but seemed to die down with the second coat of Bullseye applied a day between each other. I've never actually used a waterbased product expecting it to block stains, but it did.
I've used Insl-X Aqua-Lock but can't judge long term adhesion really. I used it on garage doors with some sort of factory coating with Aura Ext. as a top coat and it seemed to do fine. I picked at both after 1-2 hours dried or the next day and everything was pretty solidly adhered. I think the Aqua-Lock could be a stronger bonding primer than Stix. Doors had no sanding done, just cleaned with Krud Cutter. We tried liquid deglosser on one or two doors but it did nothing.
I really wanna try the new PPG Gripper at HD. Only $25 a gallon. I like SW Problock more than 1-2-3 now as Problock is less translucent, 1-2-3 is pretty much translucent now. My price is $1-2 cheaper at SW, too. Gripper even says it can seal in stains and nicotine, which would be neato from a WB product I can buy at any HD.