And there's a great deal of wisdom in that. I'm not going to take more or less or different stuff just because YOUR pack is 2 pounds lighter than mine. Pack weight, whether "base" or "from skin out" is only useful as a starting point:
"Hey, Bill, I see your pack is smaller than mine, and when I lift yours, it's a lot lighter than mine. How much does it weigh?"
"Well, Sue, before food, fuel and water, it's about 14 pounds; the food and water add about 4 or 5."
Now we can, if Sue wants to, begin to talk about how to reduce the weight of her pack. Much of that discussion is going to be about techniques, which can affect both base and FSO weight, food, and water. (A lighter shelter affects base weight only; a switch to freezer bag cooking can affect both base weight - less cook gear - and consumables - less food weight.)
Beyond that, comparing my base weight to yours, if we both are happy with our loads, is pretty pointless, and comparing FSO weights even more so, since preference and technique figures so heavily into it. (I like trail shoes and shorts, you may like full-on boots and long pants; you carry a Kabar knife, I carry a tiny Gerber LST Mini.)
In the end, the first priority is take only what you need, then carry the lightest functional version you can find.