Has anybody had more success with tricyclics?
I've been taking tricyclics (TCAs) almost continuously for 26 years.
I know they can be more dangerous
TCAs can be more dangerous in overdose than the SSRIs except Celexa (citalopram) and Lexapro (escitalopram), but not usually at the doses typically prescribed. I've been taking dosulepin, aka dothiepin, which is the most cardio-toxic antidepressant, for about 20 years at above the maximum recommended dose and it has had no harmful effects on me so far, though it may in old age.
and hard to ween off of,
The TCAs are usually much easier to wean off than the SSRIs, and also generally produce far fewer and less severe starting side-effects too. The down-side is that they typically produce more ongoing side-effects such as constipation, dry-mouth, etc.
but I've also heard that some people just don't respond to SSRI/SNRIs.
About a third don't respond well enough to any antidepressant to make it worth taking them. TCAs may work when other classes of antidepressants fail, but this doesn't necessarily mean they will for you. The only way to know is to try them. Given your lack of success with SSRIs, the more norepinephrinergic TCAs such as desipramine and nortriptyline might be the better initial choice.
I know that MAOIs are also available, but are very dangerous and interact poorly with several other drugs and foods.
All of which is true, but they can also be very effective. The best antidepressant I've ever taken was Nardil (phenelzine). Unfortunately, the food restrictions became a real pain in the butt because I was eating out a lot at the time. If you have control over what you eat then the MAOIs may be worth a try. The reversible MAOI moclobemide (Manerix), which have far fewer restrictions, rarely does much, IME.