I guess I should clarify why I want a better hipbelt -- and I may be completely wrong in my logic.
I've been hiking in the Southwest canyons 2-3 times a year for the last few years -- Grand Canyon, Zion, Canyonlands, etc. Hikes are usually 3-6 days. The hike scenerio is usually warm temps, dry, bug-free but also dry camps, which usually mean 20-30 hour stretches without water access.
My nonconsumables are about 10lb (plus 2lb for whatever pack). Food for me is a pound a day but water can periodically be 12+ lb. So, while I only need 35-liters of volume, it can weigh close to 30lb.
I'm only 5'2", so a smaller (compact) pack is that much more comfortable for me. I have a Golite Peak that, with 20lb, I really like. I've used it for simple rim-to-river GC hikes and it works well. But add an extra gallon of water and it's a serious chore. But I can't help thinking that a "serious" hipbelt on that bag would make it what I need...
I know people love the Talon 44 but, from the beginning, I was a little put off by all the pockets, straps, what-not. I did buy it; brought it home and loaded it umpteen times with my gear. It has a very square wide bottom and compression straps that seemed to compress everything BUT the bottom... regardless of how I loaded it, it just felt like I was carry a big 30lb rock at the bottom of my pack.
So, now, I got the ULA Ohm last week. Good news is that it can carry the 30 lb. But the "hipbelt" is really just a pair of short wings, perfectly vertically placed, minimal padding. It's definitely not the most comfortable or one of the strengths of the pack, at least in the way it fits me.