Basement Leaking

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I hve read your articals about the causes of a leaking basement, rain gutter downspouts and sloping ground away from the house.  i have done all these things and my basement still leaks when it rains hard. The ground all around my house is nothing but clay 2 feet below ground level.  I am planning on digging out around my foundation (DIY) and seal the basement wall and backfill with gravel and drain pipes. along with selaing walls with a tar based sealant i was applying plastic seathing. A question i have is can i fill the gravel all the way to ground level as long as i have excelent drainage around foundation? I was thinking that i can have a gravel barrier between dirt and basement walls, hoever does that forfit any insulation property that the top layer of dirt would provide?