Thanks for the suggestions.
I realize the pack is a bit pricey, and it's not that large, either; however, I'm looking at it as an around-town/on a farm pack, so I'm actually trying to keep the size down; essentially it's for things I'd use/carry every day, with a bit of leftover room in case I pick something up along the way.
I do like it because they have a reputation for tough build quality, and its many pockets and capacity for adding pouches on appeals to me greatly. One of the things I've noticed about a lot of packs is that they seem to only have two spacious pockets, and I carry around a lot of individual pieces of small gear, which always gets lost in big pockets.
I've seen some great waterproof packs out there, but they often start at much higher prices, or simply don't have the format I'm after - or are huge, for three day mountain hikes.
Though, those North Face packs don't look too bad...
What do you all think of improving the water resistance of the fabric by using a spray, such as:
Hmm. I guess I'll check out a pack cover and a bag liner. See if I can find a way to permanently attach the cover to the bag so it's always ready to deploy.
There must be an "ultimate backpack" out there that marries compartmentalization and durability with waterproofness...
Thanks again, and if you've got any more thoughts, let me know!