While I fully agree with your article's conclusion, that a "rolled cylinder" pad is not "just as good as a frame" for transferring loads between the shoulder straps and hip belt, it may be, in some cases, good enough... from the perspective of "user comfort".
Using scientific measures to monitor pad performance may show tye idea lacking, especially when compared to a real frame, but from a subjective standpoint of "how it feels", the difference between rolled pad and no pad may monumental, and the difference between frame and no frame w/rolled pad might be "not that big".
I think that it is from this perspective that a lot of the manufacturers and UL hikers are making their claims.
I would have to personally agree. I own two frameless packs - a GoLite Breeze and a ULA P-1. Both carry substantially better in the "feel" department than going sans pad. I would also add that pad material and configuration do indeed matter. Loading up my P-1 with a 25 pound load, it "feels best" when that load is held within a rolled cylinder composed of closed cell, specifically a Cascade Designs Ridge Rest 3/4. If I change the pad to a CD UL Therm-A-Rest 3/4, the pack is not as comfortable on my back, and I can feel more of a "droop" in the load near my lower back. One can also see the difference by viewing the loaded pack from the outside.
It seems that pad configuration also makes a difference. As with the rolled closed cell debate, opinion may vary as "comfort" is subjective. At any rate, a 3/4 RidgeRest folded three times over and used as a stiff back "pad" does not seem to offer the same level of support as the roll technique. I found this interesting, as I was fully expecting the thickness of the "wall" against my back to perform better than a single layer of pad.
Finally, I'd like to suggest that the more fixed and solid an object is that the pad can roll around, the better it will perform. I hike with an REI 2.5 gallon folding PVC camp bucket (yikes... 6.3 oz!). At any rate, I fill it with miscellaneous items - cook pot, fuel canister, first aid kit, sleeping bag, etc). Then I roll the RidgeRest around the bucket, and stuff the entire thing into my pack. The bucket sits at the bottom of the pack, getting my food and any other gear that didn't fit into it thrown on top.
This system has worked the best for me, in terms of creating a pseudo-frame in a non-framed pack, using both my ULA P-1 (with hip belt) and GoLite Breeze as packs.