Good job deciding to fine tune your own setup. It's the only way to optimize the performance of any rig. Here's a thought. Bear with me, since you probably think you've covered this.
If VTF is too high it will compress the cantilever to a more horizontal position than the designer intended. Compensating for this to get SRA back to something akin to normal would require raising the arm to well above parallel, just as you've described.
Every cartridge is unique and any sensitive cartridge (including the 20X2-L) also changes with the weather. If it's been hot and/or humid where you live, this will cause the cartridge (any cartridge) to need less VTF to center the cantilever between the magnets and play its best.
You've checked VTF with a scale. Make sure you're weighing at record height and that the scale is not magnetically attracting the cartridge. Ignoring either of these can produce inaccurate VTF readings.
Now learn how to go beyond the scale and fine tune VTF with your ears.
1. Start by setting VTF to the bottom end of the recommended range. Return your tonearm (or the top of the cartridge body) to level.
2. Set anti-skate, if you use it, to zero.
3. Play a record that's tough to track, particularly on inner grooves. Listen for faint mistracking (a brief "fzzz" or buzzing sound that occurs in synch with dynamic peaks in the music).
4. If you don't hear hear that, nudge VTF downwards in tiny amounts until you do. We'll call this the "mis-tracking point" (for this particular cartridge, on this particular record, on this particular day).
5. The mis-tracking point is a good baseline for fine-tuning VTF with any sensitive cartridge. Measure it with your scale so you have an idea wherre it tends to be.
6. Of course you don't want to play valuable LPs with the stylus on the edge of (or over the edge of) mistracking. So... nudge VTF upwards in *tiny* (like .001g) increments. Listen closely...
The first thing you should hear is the mistracking going away. As you continue to inch VTF upward you may hear dynamics strengthen and/or bass tones becoming stronger. This is good. Keep inching VTF upward.
At some point you'll hear HF's and/or micro-dynamics start getting smothered. Let's call this the "excessive VTF threshold". Stop increasing VTF and measure it.
The range between the mis-tracking point and the excessive VTF threshold is the range this cartridge likes to play. Back off VTF slightly and you'll be in the heart of that range, able to track all normal records safely with maximum sonic performance.
Now, and only now, begin playing with SRA adjustment. Use your microscope if you feel you need to justify what it cost. ;-) I used to do that but now I just use my ears. With practice it's much faster than fussing with microscopes and lights. I can dial in SRA on any rig, even one I've not heard before, in just a few minutes.
The same with azimuth by the way. Levelling with a pencil lead or rod is a good start. Making the stylus appear vertical when viewed from the front while playing is a better one. Fine tuning by ear from there, in *very* tiny increments will often produce further sonic improvements.
Hope this is helpful as you build your independence as a vinyl tweaker!