Dana Designs (now aka: Marmot)These brands win on durability, fit, value and weight.I've been less-than-impressed by backpacks from:
The North Face
Mountain Hardwear (sorry Static, the rest of yer stuff is great)
No offense taken: I had not been recommending the MHW Exodus series at backpacks for several reasons, but the climbing packs and daypacks are pretty good. MHW does not make a travelpack, so I use an Eagle Creek
IMHO, the top of the pyramid here is brands like Macpac, Wilderness Equipment and One Planet. Arc'teryx and Osprey are also good if you can get them (we struggle to get the full range of either of these in Perth).
Big difference between Aussie packs and North American packs is that we use mostly canvas here for packs - whereas northern hemisphere has gone towards synthetic materials.
You'll notice a big difference in weights between Aussie brands and their N.american/european counterparts.
Harnesses - Probably the most important part of a backpack - this one is entirely relative to you, your body shape and what feels comfortable to you. My own pack (a Wilderness Equipment) has a harness that moulds over my back like a glove - your experience may differ.
like Osprey and Eagle Creek backpacks. My 59 litre Eagle Creek is what I travel with and it has served me very well! One of the best purchases I have ever made!