Well this has certainly been one of the most heated forum threads in a long time.
Ignoring some of less thought provoking - more provoking coments, some good points have been made. David Lewis I thought made a some good points, relating them back to the original question.
I also agree that the right pack and the way it distributes a load can have an enormous impact on your comfort level. Further, as has already been said, if your gear weighs very little, then you are unlikely to need a pack with all the whistles and bells on.
Lightweight loads don't really need a full suspension system do they, I mean, I wear a shirt to go to work, yep right next to my bare skin and I don't need a series of hip belts and shoulder straps to help me carry the weight either. Hell, I even wear a tie around my neck goodness knows how I manage to put up with the weight of that dragging my body forward!!!! :-)
I once carried a pack so heavy, (Don't know how much it weighed) that I couldn't even pick it up. I had to lie on the floor next to the pack, strap it too me, roll on to my stomach, push up onto my knees and then stand!!! What a man (Read Idiot) I was. That was many years ago and sure, while the pack was on my back I could walk pretty easilly. However, I can tell you, the next day, it wasn't my back that was aching (The pack had been really good at managing the weight) but my Knees were agony. Just walking, even without the pack, was painfull. So no matter how good your pack, that weight gets transmitted down your legs to your joints. I never really knew I had knees until that experience!!! I'm grateful for that experience though because it was the final driver that made me think, 'There has to be a better way.'
The internet and sites / forums such as BPL have given me the advice and the chance to reassess everything that I have. I can now carry everything I need with considerable less weight or if I chose, take along an extra luxury and still have lower pack weights than before. My packs are smaller in size and it is a real joy to hike that way. Sometimes, I will hike into a town or village for supplies and there will be some point of interest, natural feature, museum etc where you have to pay a fee for entry. Sometimes, that might have been the reason for hiking there. Lightweight backpacking has enabled me to blend right in with all the day trippers with my small pack on my back (Golite Breeze). Most people are oblivious to the fact that i'm actually backpacking, they probably think i've just got my sandwhiches and a flask in there because I don't have tin cups and sleeping rolls hanging off the side. The Breeze is small enough to stuff under the table in a cafe etc.
So there you have it, backpacking light, has saved my Knees, increased my enjoyment and given me a freedom that that old heavy pack would never have done. In fact that old bravado of how heavy is your pack is now replaced with getting a kick out of how light it is.
Anyway, talking of how light, I'm just on my way out to buy a pair of Brasher Supalites (Boots). Thanks everyone for your comments in this and other forums, the advice has been invaluable.