Actually, the higher the polish the higher the edge retention. You can compare it to a comb: You can bend the tines of a comb easily, but if you had the same length made of solid material, you would be hard pressed to bend it, because the adjacent material supports itself. The higher you hone the edge the more you go from long tooths to one solid line on the edge. Of course the "solid edge" will still be toothy under large enough magnification, but the teeth are much smaller. Stropping is a different thing though.
As to the UF stones (which I got from NGK, maybe you just call them up and ask them?). I find that the corners feel about the same as the corners on the regular whites, but the flats are substantially finer, resulting in a highly polished edge. However, there must be something wrong with your technique on the sharpmaker, if you can get only a grabby shaving edge with the regular whites. The edge that I get with the regular whites is absolutely nothing to sneeze at and that after only 20 strokes. Try and go back to the grays at 20 degrees with light strokes (20 corners, 20 flats) and then back to the whites at 20 degrees and see if something improves. How often do you clean the rods. I find I have to clean the rods or change the corner/side after about 30 strokes per corner/side.