Brian raises some good points about taking into account the total weight of the system. However, I do mildy disagree with his statement:
"to me the difference between say a 4 lb and a 6 lb 4x5 camera isn't enough to worry about since everything else - tripod, holders, etc. - can remain the same with either camera"
Based on my experience, with a lighter camera, I can get by with a lighter tripo d and especially tripod head. For instance, with my Toho FC-45X (modified weigh t 2lb. 12 1/2 oz.) I regulary use a tripod/head (modified Gitzo 1227 and Velbon PH-253MG) combo that weighs 3 lb. 4 3/4 oz. I have a friend who uses an even li ghter (but shorter) Slik carbon fiber tripod with the same head with a wooden fi eld camera of similar weight. I would never consider using either of these trip od/head combos with a 6 lb. camera. The 1227 legs were adaquate for my Canham D LC (4 lb. 14 oz.), but at the very least, a heavier head is required (something like the Linhof Profi II that weighs about a pound more than the little Velbon m agnesium ballhead). With my Linhof Technikardan, I use a Gitzo 1325 with an Arc a Swiss B1 head. By most accounts this is still considered a very light tripod/ head combo. It's the lightest tripod/head I'd consider using with the Technikar dan and at a very resonable 6 lb. 2 oz. it's still nearly 3 lb. heavier than the combination I use with the Toho. So, it does all add up.
For backpacking, I use the Toho with the aforementioned tripod/head and a set of three or four ultralight lenses. The camera, lenses, a couple boxes of Quicklo ads, all my accessories, lunch, a couple water bottles and a light jacket will a ll easily fit in a lightweight daypack (I use the Northface Yavapai model).
A bigger, heavier camera also requires a bigger, heavier pack to carry it in. I t all adds up (even the lensboards on my Canham weighed twice as much as the Toh o lenses boards, with my bigger lenses I use 67mm filters, with the ultralight l enses, I use 52mm filters). What may seem like only a couple pounds can end up having a ripple effect that leads to an added 5 - 10 lbs. Granted, most people would not notice a difference of 5 lbs. on a reasonably short dayhike, but on a long, multiday backpacking trip, every ounce counts.
Taken to the extreme, the 4x5 system I use for dayhiking and road kills is curre ntly based around a Linhof Technikardan TK45S. It's a wonderful camera, but it is the heaviest 4x5 I've ever used in the field. The camera alone weighs over 7 1/2 lbs. and by the time I add a RRS quick release plate (helps balance the cam era better with long lenses) and the bag bellows (necessary for wide angle use), it's pushing 8 1/2 lbs. This camera requires a heavier tripod/head and a much bigger heavier pack (12 1/2 lbs. empty) to carry it all in. I also carry six le nses instead of three or four. Without going through a complete itemized list, the total weight of this system is in the 35 - 40 lb. range. The Toho based sys tem I use for backpacking is in the 13 - 15 lb. range (depending on how much fil m I'm carrying). Most people would notice the differnce between 15 lbs. and 40 lbs. pretty quickly.
Granted, this example illustrates sytems approaching the extremes (alhough I'm s till using a carbon fiber tripod and reasonably light lenses with the Technikard an), it is based on what I actually use depending on if I want to go lightweight (backpacking or really long day hikes) or full featured (road kills and dayhike s of moderate length). I'm not disagreeing with Brian's comments about 8x10. I n fact, I heartily agree (especially about those 8x10 holders). The weight of a n 8x10 system quickly adds up to the point where my Technikardan system seems li ght by comparison. Still, I did want to point out that you can't totally ignore weight in a 4x5 system if you intend to schlep it all over the mountains and de sert (as I do).
I also agree with Brian's recommendation of the Phillips cameras. Being of an, ahem, "older" generation, I'm not exactly sure what this "generation-X sensibilt y" is that Andre alludes to. If he means he'd rather have something high tech l ooking than something that looks like it belongs in a museum, then the Phillips should suit him fine. Although Dick Phillips uses wood in the construction of h is cameras, they are still very modern and high tech looking. The Explorer is p retty much all black. The original Compact did show more bare wood, but it has been discontinued and replaced by the more high tech looking Compact II. In any case, I'm just an old fart that doesn't give a rat's ass what my camera looks l ike or what it's made of, as long as it meets my needs and gets the job done.