I like that list, a lot. I might argue that the footprint wasn't really needed, but they do make things convenient.

I might also recommend the Osprey Kestrel 48 instead of the Talon 44 - you'll add a pound or so to your load, but the suspension is a bit better, and the pockets and such seem a bit more functional to me. (I've used both, with about a 22 pound load, and found the Kestrel more comfortable and easier to pack - though the Talon worked.) I didn't look it up, but the Kestrel may cost about $20 more. As the hypothetical REI salesperson, I'd help the person collect the other gear, then let them pack it in each pack and try them on - at that point, it would simply be the individual preference, (much like the difference between the Atmos 50 and Exos 46 - both of which would be additional good choices, if they fit better.)

I liked the inclusion of the mini-Trangia - a nice balance of function, cost, and light weight. It would have been easy to recommend a SnowPeak Giga stove and any of several Titanium pots of 1L or so, or one of the Jetboil series. The cost would have approached $100, and there'd still be one problem. Canister stoves are very easy for new hikers to deal with, but when the weather turns cooler, they've got to find another stove (not so much with the Jetboil, but certainly with the Snow Peak.) The Trangia is as light as any of those, works well in cooler weather, and is far less expensive. It's also reliable, easy to use, and the fuel is cheap and readily available. Really good choice.

Well-thought-out list!