While I agree that some times you need an external source to enforce a standard (a top-down system), other times a consortium or industry consensus standard (a bottom-up system) also works.
What metric would I like to see as measuring battery life for a device? Ideally, I'd like to see a "full feature at full load"/"expected use" time measure. This means the laptops all features are run in simulation full bore - wi-fi where signal is weak, bluetooth on, CPU under full load at maximum performance, graphics pushed, ram under heavy usage, screen at full brightness, HDD read/writes near constant, and so forth. This would produce an extreme measure of minimum life. Typical use would have to have it defined (example: single web browser window only in power saving mode with standard settings [wi-fi on, bluetooth off, minimal disk usage, cpu in underclocked mode, screen at 40% brightness]) so people can see what behavior the company expects out of users.
Also, I might like to see the standard be table based, with listings for 10, 100, 250, and 500 recharges or even a continuous graph with margin of error listed.
Do I expect companies to do this? No. I expect them to come up with a less intensive and less costly method. Also, my desired method takes a significant amount of time per device to develop and would not work for generic external battery manufacturers (who would have the burden of testing it with hundreds or thousands of compatible devices). After all, running a test 500 times with a battery even 30 times is costly and time consuming - and then there are external factors that can affect the results (temperature, humidity, variation on sample equipment, and so forth). Another factor not addressed is the "always plugged in system" or the "recharge after partial depletion" scenario.
Thus, I know what I'd like to see - but I doubt it is possible due to cost. Also, it would not be an end-all be all solution.
As to the notion that solutions should be made only at consortium meetings and not on blog posts, I find that to be disenfranchising. A blog post that solicits customer input will put the industry far more in touch with actual user desires for the metric. That system will be perceived as more inclusive, democratic, and transparent over an authoritarian top-down consortium approach.
In the least, I hope that AMD succeeds in getting enough manufacturers to support listing idle/expected work load times for batteries. After all, I want to know how long I can actively use my device and not sit there and say "ooh, look - an idling laptop!"