A 70's Neumann U87
would be my first choice (not the later "ai" version).
Other than that you could get into AEA ribbon mics, R84 or R92. But, even though they're great mics, I've favored them more on guitars than vocals (in most general applications). Good ribbon mics are a different monster all together but smooth as all hell. They take to EQ quite well.
The Shure SM7
seems to be a favorite as well. I don't use mine all the time for vocals but it does work very well if my other selections have too much sibilance and I'm looking for a little more "meat".
When I owned a Neumann TLM103
, I thought it was pretty flat/neutral. I sold it cuz it took a back-seat to the other mics I had at that time. But I remember it being similar to a 414 with less high-mid harshness.
The most versatile mic I had, that I wish I still had but sold to pay off bills, years ago, was a Neumann/Telefunken U47
longbody tube mic. That's going up into the $5000 to $7500 range tho.
Or maybe you could try a darker mic pre for the 414? I do like the 414XLII, and I know what you're saying regarding "ouch" in most cases. I think the mic is aggressive but not necessarily scooped but I'll use it in conjunction with a second vocal mic, like a 44BX ribbon for roundness -- then mix to taste. If by itself, I've had better luck running that 414 model thru a Neve 1272 or Trident S20. Both of those pre's have more mid/low-mid push/smear, to my ears. It helped a bit, but yet again, in a majority of cases, I preferred the 70's U87
instead of trying to fight a mic versus pre combo.
-- Adam Lazlo