Lessons learned: Perfect pants?
Or, "Gear: How to minimize the pain of shopping".
1. Fit: the company either had your body type in mind, or not.
2. Functional material: dries fast, resists water and wind while breathing/allowing evaporation -ballpark $100 range.
Or even stretches - $200 range.
3. Hard-wearing: look for the word "bomber" from several sources - unless you like shopping .
4. Plenty of pockets (5 or 6)
5. Pocket closures (none vs buttons vs velcro vs quiet zippers): Velcro is very noisy if you're hunting.
6. Belt loops: a good belt carries Leatherman, whatever.
7. Still available in my size during end of season sales. Only time I wish I wore 2XL (some 2007 SitkaGear STILL avail in 2XL cheap. Ha!). In fact any great deal probably trumps most of the list above.