We just got back from the World Weightlifting Championships in Vancouver this last weekend. It was fantastic! If you ever get a chance to see these atheletes, it is well worth the effort.
We noticed several things right away as these athletes lifted/attempted max lifts; full extension of the hips was critical, the best lifters generated fantastic speed/power as the bar brushed by the COG, anything that caused the bar to swing out in front of the lifter or changed the timing resulted in problems with the catch and I don't remember seeing anyone who had a problem in the catch with max or near max weight stand up and make the jerk.
Several did't even attempt the jerk after saving a poor clean. As near as I can remember, everyone brushed the thighs with the bar. This is what I have been striving for in my lifts as well. I'll check the WCC tape, but what I remember WCC recommending is a combination of the hip thrust/trunk whip that they termed the hip & whip.