WidespreadPanic -banco - Part of the problem is it take a long time to safely build up to decent poundages. It would probably take your average sized man 2-3 years to build up to a double bodyweight squat. Most people don't have the patience to not push too far too soon.Lifters should be testing their strength in other ways, specifically vertical jumping. The 'amount' of weight is not that important unless your goal is to impress someone else. Certainly avoid plyos until you build up your strength, but don't worry about the raw poundages; go by feel. It feels good to do proper form even with just the bar.
I agree that the weight on the bar isn't the be all and end all and people can become overly concerned with it but it is a good measure of your progress. For every person who lifts too much weight with poor form there's another one who believes that a bodyweight squat is a heavy weight.