I suspect that most of us can agree with that, without necessarily agreeing on the specifics that it translates to for each individual.

A "real towel"? I like carrying the smallest size thin blue pack towel that is available, but can't imagine carrying anything heavier than that. In SoCal I didn't have that and didn't miss it; things dry out pretty fast on their own there.

Different people will have different approaches to other things mentioned --- vitamins, meds, first aid, etc. I carried Doctor Bronner's soap and literally never used it, while others swear by it. I didn't carry vaseline and didn't miss it --- I did use some lip balm in the first few hundred miles (didn't seem to need it after the first weeks), ditto sunscreen --- I used almost none after the first few hundred miles. I'm sure that others used more.

"take the best sleping pad you can" That's hard to disagree with, again with the caveat that the best sleeping pad you can take might be wildly different between any two hikers. My best sleeping pad turned out to be a thin torso inflatable on top of a full length blue foam pad --- one of my luxuries was more padding than most carry. Others will carry more padding than that, perhaps a big honking Exped D.A.M. or the like, while for many thru-hikers the "best" pad is just a thin torso pad or a single foam pad of some sort, or even no pad at all.

IMO the best way to sort out what's personally optimal is to do some relatively long shake-down hikes in preparation, if that's possible, and/or, recognize that the mix of gear will change during the trip (that's what post offices and outfitter stores are for ...).
Brian Lewis