If money is a consideration I'd look closely at REI's Cruise UL. It's their Ultra Light pack W/ 2 tubular aluminum stays and a lot of nice features for around $140.

I've carried 35 lbs. in mine and had no problems at all. It is rated to 40 lbs. I added 2 REI side pockets for easier access to some items and for more space. I used REI 1/2" wide buckle straps to attatch them.

BTW, I'm 5' 10" but with a long torso so I bought a Size Large pack. The Cruise UL has a shoulder harness that attatches with big Velcro patches and adjusts up and down about 6", more than enough for a comfortable ride for taller men.


P.S. Nice picture.
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."