Did you ever try this? So simple I wish I had known it would work years ago. I just put about 1/2 cup of (unpopped) popcorn in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of oil and some sea salt. Give it a swirl and dump into a brown paper lunchbag. Fold the top over a couple of times. The tricky part is to know exactly when to take it out and that will vary according to your microwave. Best bet is not to wait until the popping is over.
By the way...you know on that Bravo show "The Actor's Studio" when at the end the question is asked "which sound or noise do you like the most?" I always think of popcorn popping. Just love it..