Thoughts on your suggestion:
First off, I totally understand not risking something you can't afford to lose. My plan was to get the basic grey Baltoro and then take some Tenacious Tape and reinforce some high-wear areas, simultaneously camouflaging the backpack. Some basic string zipper ties would complete the illusion, as well as some earned dust and dirt. I'm going to be "camouflaging" my camera in the same way with a crappy strap and blacked-out "Nikon" logo, and electrical tape.
What I don't want to happen is one of the following:
1) 40-year-old nylon tears away three days into my trip from the backpack sitting around in unknown conditions.
2) Squeaking and looking like a hobo makes me unapproachable by locals, and local women.
3) It doesn't look as comfortable as the Baltoro, but I can be proven wrong.
I am thinking I'll go with quality and take care of it, rather than intentionally skimping to look like less of a target. I'm 6'2" with a beard, sharp eyes, a good sense of how to avoid bad situations by not looking lost or afraid, and I'm in shape, so I'm not exactly a target to begin with. If you're gonna travel, I think only professional wrestlers are inherently safer than my build/mannerisms.