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The current (June) issue of Bicycling Magazine has an article "Why Your Helmet Should Be Safer" that discusses the limits of current helmet designs and why it's so difficult to incorporate newer and better technology.
In brief, the author states that modern helmets do a great job of keeping your head intact in major crashes but do a poor job of preventing concussions. He describes why that's the case, a couple of better technologies and why it's so difficult to get the CPSC regulations changed to require them. Worth reading.
I have Tubus Tara and Cargo racks and Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus bags. I prefer the lack of shine on those bags. Durability is excellent. I find the inner pockets useful, but could get by without them. I do not recommend small front bags combined with large rear bags. Weight front and back should be equal, or more on front. I use four rear bags, two on front. I find the Bike Packer Plus bags just the right size. Wayne, The Touring Store, recommends against Bike Packer Plus rear bags on front. I disagreed with that recommendation, and have had no trouble over thousands of miles with my setup. I used to use an Ortlieb handlebar bag, but sold it after using it on part of one tour. I found I could do fine with just the four bags mentioned.+1... just call The Touring Store.