I really admire all you men who are comfortable with no hip belts on your packs! If it's comfortable for you, go for it! However, most of you seem to have forgotten that men and women are built differently, and I'm not referring to the obvious differences :-).
As a general rule, men have their primary strength in their shoulders. With women, it's in the hips. Our center of gravity is also different--for most women it's lower than for men--which is why most of us load our packs differently. What works for most men isn't necessarily going to work for most women!
I can't carry even an 8-lb. pack without a supportive hipbelt. My shoulders are very pressure-sensitive, and without a hip belt and load lifters, the result is excruciating pain. I suspect this may be a genetic thing, not just sex or age, because my grandson (age 11) has exactly the same problem.
The pack I have (Six Moon Designs Comet, 2005 model) has a good hipbelt--at least it's comfortable for me. It has two straps connecting the belt to the pack, at top and bottom. I can adjust those straps to achieve the conical effect (narrower at top than at bottom) needed for my (ample!) hips. It also has enough padding to keep my hip bones happy. The newer model that came out in 2006, on the other hand, has a very minimal hipbelt with very little padding that cannot be adjusted for my shape as can the older model. Interestingly, although the 2006+ model (since discontinued) has a far more minimal hip belt, it weighs more than my 2005 model!
Sumi, please let us know if ULA can come through with a satisfactory hip belt. I can tell you that you definitely are not the only person with your problem!