For through-hikes, my base weight generally floats between 12 and 17 pounds, depending on where I am going and when I am hiking. For example, summer in Kentucky while hammocking along the Sheltowee Trace, probably about 14 lbs, due to the Hennessy Expedition Hammock. With my poncho replacing the fly, the shelter still adds up to about 2 1/2 pounds. For the Long Trail during the same time, I will probably hang out around 12 because I will spend time in shelters as much as using my Gatewood Cape. I've hiked UL, but only for shorter trips. On through-hikes, extra items like maps, guidebooks, extra batteries, a UL wallet,and sometimes an extra pair of shorts (for the laundromat) add up to the extra couple of pounds.
As far as gear weight in big box retailers, I have tried to outfit customers with much lighter kit only to find many insist on the 5-pound pack because they want "durability". Or because it got such "great reviews" in Backpacker Magazine. There ARE customers who want lighterweight gear, as evidenced by the number of 2- and 3-pound packs on the mass market now versus the 5-8-pounders that were so prevalent 8 years ago when I through-hiked the AT.