Just reading through this post...
"The side shock cord system is minimal and doesn't seem to "compress" much of anything. I'll probably end up removing the cord from the sides."
Yes, I agree. With a fairly rigid frame structure, compression is almost worthless on that pack family (Murmur & Kumo.) I use a NightLite pad fanfolded into a 5 layer pad about 2" thick, Mike said the AirBeam was about the same thickness. For the compression, I ended up trying some line, then simply dropping it. The 4-1/2" depth isn't enough to worry about. Pulling the top flap down and cinching it down does well enough.
The shoulder strap width is user dependent, I guess. I like them at the width they are and would prefer them a 1/2" wider, as was on the older packs. But they are fine as they sit.
I pack with low volume stuff, mostly. That means the least *starting* weight for my average outing. An average outing is around 10-11 days. I usually cary about 1.2pounds of food per day, but I know that is a bit high. (I am older and get buy with about 2700C per day. I plan on loosing a few pounds every trip, More food simply comes back with me, it is not like I go hungry.) So, a 17-23pound final weight is fine for up to a max of 14 days out. It all fits in the small pack. More and I would need to resupply or bring another pack.