Thank you REI garage sale! I purchased this pack almost 10 years ago and it changed my perception of backpacking. Previously, I had always used external frame or cheaper internal frame packs which lead to discomfort, fatigue, and general disdain for backpacking. With this pack, I can throw 60 pounds of gear on my back and walk for days. I despise the water bottle holders, but I believe they have been updated on the newer iterations. Other than that shortfall, it is bomb proof, almost water proof, and extremely comfortable. Many years and many more trips later, the pack still looks (almost) the same as the day I bought it.
Verdict: Highly recommended, and might even be worth the hefty sticker price.