I saw the "Big 4" reference under "Why go ultralight?" post, and was curious what people would recommend, if you were buying a pack, tent/shelter, sleeping bag, stove/pot, and sleeping pad from scratch?
Most of the gear I have works fine, and was acquired over the years when something I needed was heavily discounted. My current gear includes (all older models, weights are from the product pages, I have never weighed them myself):
REI Quarter Dome UL: 4 lbs 4 oz with everything, 3 lbs 11 oz. 'minimum trail weight'. Great "1.5 person" tent.
Kovea Supalight + Stoic 750 mL pot: 2.1 oz stove, and I believe 3.9 oz pot.
Jan sport Big Bear 82: 3 lbs, 13 oz. It was really cheap, and works fine, although the straps aren't perfect.
Mountain Hardware Lyell -15 C: 3 lbs, 12 oz. Yes, it is heavy. It is also very warm, and can cover two people when unzipped in warmer weather.
Ridge Rest pad: Not sure of the weight, but I cut it to 3/4 length, and it feels very light, although is increasingly uncomfortable as I get older.
I am happy with the stove and tent. But was curious, if you were to upgrade any of these items with something that -- could serve in 3-4 seasons and for trips of up to a week (i.e. a two-person tent, not a bivy, a large backpack that can be cinched down, not a daypack) -- what would you recommend? Bonus points for something on the cheaper side.
Tent, and view, on my last outing: