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Page view dependent on sharing/permissiveness help needed

I am struggling with an issue regarding the sharing needs of oncoming groups of users.


They are looking for a system in which all companies would be shared, with each group having its own private sections on the page layout. Easy enough.


But the complication comes with contacts and opportunities - they want the existence of all records to be shared, but the details to only be shared across groups when allowed. Thus, user from group A would search, find a contact has previous relationship with someone from group B, and have to go through the person in B to get the contact's info. 


I had devised a system using record types and page layouts - one for group A, one for group B, and one for "shared" objects that works, but seems clunky.

However, it is not going to be only 2 groups. It will be an expanding number of groups, so managing via record type / layout relationships is impracticable. 


If I could sum it up in a simple wish, it would be to change the function of sharing = Private from "completely hidden" to "can only see the name and selected details."


Please, any suggestions, pointers to working examples, etc would be much appreciated.