If your water is like mine and has a high PH (7.2 or so in my case) then you may be experiencing this problem like me.
I now add 1/4 lb of acidulated malt to all my brews to reduce the PH of the mash into the mid 5s.
You could also lighten the PH of your HLT water with various food grade acids.
Neither of these affect the taste.
To be certain you need to get a decent PH meter (around $60) and test during the mash. You'll have to cool down your sample and test, thyen you can add things to it. Adding a bit of acidulated malt corrects my problem. It may work for you too.
This seems to have lightened me up a bit!
I obsessed about this a year or two ago and my GABF friends started calling me Lovibond becuase of it. Bottom line is that color isn't that important to the taste or body, but is an aesthetic thing and is most noticed when trying to copy commercial beers. I got out of that habit except for very few beers. I bought Designing Great Beers and found that I could use guidelines to create my own recipes. No preconceived notions and no obvious color departure...
Can i ask where you are getting your recipes from, i mean what software do are they generated from?
I used to you Hopville you cant adjust the EBC of the grains, so all my pale ales looked like Ambers.... now use Beersmith, problem solved.
The color I am referencing is always color in a glass. I always use the same Sam Adams pint glass to drink all my homebrews.
I would say the culprit is your pint glass. I would suspect your homebrew becomes depressed when poured into a glass of this caliber and the color will slightly darken. For best results try pouring it into a custom made pint glass specifically for your homebrews or a pint glass that sports the colors of a brewery that is not slime adams.