I like the idea of %-based skin-out weights, if anyone really cares, minus water/fuel.
From JGG (via Hendrik's post)
Lightweight = 12-20 pounds
Ultralight = 6-11 pounds
Superultralight = 5 pounds or less
So ballbark % weights would be
10% = L
5% = UL
3% = SUL
I am 6'6" 230, so 5% (UL) for me is 11.5lbs, not including water/fuel.
Someone who is 150 lbs, UL would be 7.5 lbs.
Does a larger hiker need 4 more lbs? I'll posit 'yes' just because my shoes are heavier, my clothes are heavier, my pad is arguably longer/wider, my pack is bigger to fit my torso, my bag is longer/wider, my tarp is longer/wider, my tent is longer/wider, etc. You get the idea - it all adds up and 48 oz can disappear pretty darn quickly when almost every single facet of your gear is affected.
L = 23.0 lbs
UL = 11.5 lbs
SUL = 6.9 lbs
To me, the goal of lightweight is "less stuff so you can do more." My body/frame is built and can handler a higher %-baseweight without really noticing it, which makes up for the fact that I need bigger stuff.
Why did I point out "minus fuel?" Because not everyone can use wood-stoves in their area. Not everyone can agree on canister vs WG vs esbit vs alcohol. This normalizes the weights more globally. This gives you the chance to tune your stove without worrying about one facet, and normalizes stoves a little across weather conditions and fuel availability. Now, if people start lugging bags of mesquite-flavored charcoal around ...
As Henrik points out, it's just a number. :)