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I think weight is a better defining factor as you suggested, although even that can be misleading as that does not take into account new moulds and prints, which of course make a set more expensive.
No system is perfect, but we can make the accuracy greater with each additional step we put in.
I would agree that the price per 100g could maybe be a fairer (better?) way to do a comparison. It would even work well with sets that have electronic elements as they are generally heavier that just plastic parts. No system is perfect, but the price per part can throw up some strange results.
I don't think TLG are deliberately trying to deceive people with the price per piece as here in the UK the piece count isn't generally printed on the box, so the only people likely to get an idea of price per piece are those that research the sets, so flooding with cheese slopes etc won't help raise the perceived value that much.
I've found that my only perception of value has changed a lot since I started collecting. Initially I was only interested in minifigures so all the value of a set was in the figures. Once I started building and MOCing I started to look more at the pieces and what they are in terms of the value. There are certain colour palettes I put more value to because I like to use them more. Personal pricing is the only effective measure of value, because everyone will be looking for something different in the sets.
Price per pound is a better way to measure value when you are buying assorted lots at garage-sales and such. You don't know exactly what you are getting, or if there are any complete sets in the lot, but if the price is not more than $5 a pound, you won't be overpaying and there is even room for profit if you decide to resell some or all of it. Please note that I'm in the USA, so prices/weight ratios in other countries will be different.
the only times I remember using more then about 4 cheese or studs in a moc is 1) for the coin dozer that has about 24 cheese for the part where the winning coin area is plus I used some studs as filler so I could place needed parts on top and 2) for 3 or 4 GBA/GB/GBC game holders I made and needed a plate thickness to put on top of the bricks to get the spacing to work.
a set could be made up of 500 larger parts and sold for $45, that tends to be a good deal in pieces and likely weight. but the object it represents could be poorly designed or the pieces far to repetitive. so for a Non Moc'er it might not be worth it due to aesthetics. a Moc'er on the other hand might love a set that they do not intend to make but has a large amount of the same parts. Value is so subjective that you can use any baseline you like and still it wont be a hard and true value gage.