I've been telling students for years that the most important control in any plug-in window is the bypass button. Comparing "with" against "without" is essential. As a result it's necessary to balance the levels of the processed and bypassed signals to make the comparison meaningful. However brick wall limiters intentionally introduce a level change, making comparison impossible.
For the last couple of years my first choice limiter has been the Avid Pro Limiter. Before that I was a fan of Avid's Maxim. I avoid heavy limiting and while I have tried third party limiters, I used to come back to Maxim because of the excellent interface. I was disappointed by the lower resolution of the histogram display when the UI got its dark grey facelift but usefully the redesign made the previously inconspicuous Link button far more prominent.
The significance of this button was lost on me for years but by linking the threshold and ceiling controls it is possible to audition limited audio against the bypassed signal at the same level. Comparing the changes introduced by the limiting rather than the increased gain. When you have found the appropriate threshold simply unlink and raise the ceiling to your desired output level.