I've tried ca 7 different sourdough recipes that all produced bricks. No oven spring whatsoever. My starter appeared to be healthy, and though I followed the recipes carefully, the results were awful. Then I tried ABin5, and things started getting better, and then Peter Reinhart's Lean Bread recipe (both yeast based, no starter); and I finally understood what people are talking about then they say "oven spring".
I have this feeling the problem lies with my starter. Is it possible that the lack of oven spring can be mostly reduced to the starter, if I did all the other things properly as required by the sourdough recipes? This may be to vague a description to be easily answered, I realize that. I'm at the point of giving up the whole sourdough thing, but wanted to try to home in on where the problem may lie.