This thread is a recurring theme on BPL, for good reason. I am one of those people who started with a heavy pack, 40+ lbs, for a weekend trip as a middle schooler, but now my baseweight is at 8.5ish lbs. I fully credit my weight loss to BPL, not so much for changing my ways, but showing me other ways and gear.
I never packed extra clothes or shoes, but I had a white gas stove for August, full set of nesting pots instead of just one (I did use them all though), 7 lbs pack, 1.5 sleeping pad (which I still have and use 15 years later), fairly full FAK, multiple full water bottles, etc. It added up, and yes I weighed the pack on the bathroom scale. At the time, my dad had a 60 lbs pack because he "needed" two bucket sinks, camp shoes, a change of clothes, a towel for washing up, and so on.
We got that gear and the subsequent heavy packs by reading Backpacker mag and going to REI for help. Both well meaning resources, but heavy minded. BPL was the resource I wanted all those years ago. The last trip I went on with my dad was the first time he didn't say he was going to have a lighter pack next time, and we didn't wish for anything either.
I'm conflicted when I see these threads about heavier packs because on one hand, I've been there and now I've "seen the light," as it's been said. I, too, cringe at towering packs for two nights. Hell, I cringe when I see two people each with their own stove and cookset nowadays. But it's this seemingly enlightened attitude and looking down at people with heavy packs that has killed the reputation of ultralight backpacking recently. Skurka doesn't use the word "ultralight" anymore because of the elitist connotation associated with it.
So I guess what I'm saying is that if these people with 40, 50, 60, 100 lbs packs are happy, I don't care about their packs and am happy to share the woods. If they wish there was a lighter way, I'd show them what I've learned from BPL. At first, I was pretty snotty about my baseweight when it dropped, but now I keep my mouth shut and just enjoy the hiking. I think I'm probably much more fun to be around now too.