Brad, nicely presented and well thought out review. Thanks for your time in putting this together.
As owner of one of these jackets, purchased 2011, just a few other comments. My men's medium weights in at 7.6 oz - at 5'-8", 140lbs, w/ athletic build the medium fits well, no restrictions for full movement, I like the softer, non crinkle fabric.
The jacket does indeed seem to be fuller towards the bottom, I use the jacket for backpacking only, it's in my pack most of the time waiting for the weather to change, I'm happy it's less than 8oz. When I do have it on, I never put my pack waistbelt over the bottom of my jacket(s), (or shirt for that matter) - instead pull the jacket above the belt. With the Malpais two-way zipper, I can unzip and open the bottom to aid in breathing. I'm thinking that little bit of lower looseness helps that function. As Will points out in one of his many fine articles - a waterproof/breathable jacket needs to be open in the front to truly breathe, I agree. The controls on the hood could be tighter, I typically use hoods with a mesh brim cap (ballcap) underneath the hood. The Malpais hood pull down nice & tight to the brim. A brim cap & hood is the only way to go in precipitating weather. jmo
As for the sticky zipper - mine had that at first, I thought mine was the only one that did that until I read it in a few BPL articles. The first thing I did was to rub paraffin (hard dry wax) on the zip coupler & zipper start - smooth operation, still works great after 8 months or so. YES - I know - a new jacket shouldn't need that, but it's a 30 second fix for those that have or would like to purchase the jacket.
Lastly, the outdoor clothing industry have their suggested retail price, GoLite however is almost always on sale somewhere at a substantial lower price & usually before the season is over.