My bigger point, however, is put forth because I'd rather overshoot the mark and have greater breathing room when I need it that to meet the baseline requirement and wish i had more later. I've always given myself more RAM and more storage because I've always found that those are the two areas where I will most quickly hit a wall.
My older AMD 6000 dual core chip is inferior to my newer Intel i5 750 when you benchmark them... but in wholly practical terms, the difference in time the two take to render a 20 MB graphics file isn't a difference that makes or breaks my ability to get work done in a reasonable time. If I had not had the funds to build a whole new machine, I'd have just added more RAM to my old AMD box and voila, I would have a noticeable performance bump.
That is why I advocate on the side of more when it comes to RAM.
Yes... 16 GB... overkill.
I don't disagree at all that 4GB (assuming a 64-bit OS) will get you where you need to go, but at the prices I'm seeing today, 8 GB isn't a bad investment unless you know you are only going to be single-tasking with ordinary apps or games.
Or maybe I'm just defending my 8 GB too zealously :-)