Thanks for the replies so far, all helping with the choice.
I spoke with Aarn at Aarn Designs, who said maybe the Natural Exilaration with Compact Balance Pockets could be the solution. At 33 liters for the main pack, and an extra 7 for the pockets where I would store food and stove (MSR Pocket Rocket) and fuel/ 2 liters of water and thngs close to hand, it's currently my number one choice. It's listed at 43 liters on the Aarn website, I guess this includes the mesh pockets. He also said there were a couple of ultralight packs in the pipeline, but not for this summer.
I looked at the GG Vapor Trail, but the fabric doesn't seem robust enough for bushwhacking, which is sometimes necessary where I go, or rough contact with rock, so then I looked at the GG Alpine Vapor- much more robust fabrics, similar volume- but adding a waterproof liner brings it nearish to the Natural Balance weight, which has the balance pockets and is waterproof already.
I'm sold on the idea/ philosophy of Balance pockets, and the compact versions seem a great compromise to see the path/ trail better than the larger pocket options.
I've just bought a 32 liter container to see if everything fits, so if it does, I'll probably go with the Natural Balance.
Anything will be better than my current Lowe Alpine 2.4 kilo 80 liter monster which I have been using for 20 years. It's been everywhere with me- the Himalaya, Australia, Asia, China, the USA, and I used it last summer in the Pyrenees and I love it, but it does weigh a ton.