I've put roughly 200 miles on mine and I love it, although I agree some things could be improved. I'd like to throw in my impressions as well.
After you put in about 40-50 miles on it, the foam back pad softens up a bit and forms better to your back. I had an issue when "breaking in" my pack where it would really press into my lower back but the problem has corrected itself.
I've never had the sternum strap slide around. Maybe I use it a bit differently, or its resting position is the correct one for me, but I haven't had any problems.
I too would be thrilled with a Granite Gear hip belt, although I feel the current hipbelt is adequate, especially under 30 lbs.
I am still debating whether I like this or the AC Blaze better, but that little zippered pocket towards the top has me hooked: it's plenty of space to store the little things I need access to easily.
I've seen very little wear despite scraping on a lot of rocks and branches.
The zippered hipbelt pockets are *awesome*. I usually stuff them full of snacks for easy access. This is the other thing keeping me using my Boreas instead of my Granite Gear.
This pack feels a bit awkward with a Garcia bear canister fit horizontally inside the pack. I don't know if it's wrecking the weight distribution or if it's simply causing the pack to shape a little differently, but if you carry a Garcia on 100% of your trips you might steer clear.
The simplicity of the design is super refreshing, although I hate carrying my foam pad on top of the pack. Bottom straps in this case, would be much appreciated.
The pack compresses down well enough to carry daypack loads without looking awkward or floppy.