I'm assuming that unless I chop up a racquet and weigh the individual pieces, there's really no way for me to determine the actual weight distribution in a stick. Is there a Sherlock Holmes way to figure this out?

The various polarization indexes are probably the most useful indicators of weight distribution but they don't tell you precisely where mass is concentrated. Travlerajm made an attempt at figuring out segmental mass distribution mathematically but I think he ended figuring it couldn't be done. Greg Raven took some of Trav's ideas on this and ran with them a little ways, if I recall. Check his HDTennis website. The was a thread last yer where various folks came to something like a consensus on the most useful polarization index. A search will find it. You can get a pretty decent idea, though, on a stick by stick basis, using various knowns. If you have a particular problem/racquet post the details. There are several sherlocks around that might help you suss it out. Doubtful, though, that this would be as satisfying as cutting into 1 cm sections

When you say "to determine the actual weight distribution" - what exactly you are looking for? Like in mathematical or physics terms - could you explain what you mean? Are you looking for some mathematical formula that would tell you something along the lines: "an X by X inch piece of a stick Y inches from the end weights such and such"? if so - that is pretty much impossible as the rackets are rarely uniform enough to have such distribution expressed in a simple function.

Just wondering if I have two different racquets that weigh the same, say 12 oz, and have similar balance but feel/swing differently, then it must be that the graphite (or whatever materials) are distributed differently in the frames. Perhaps one has a higher concentration in the hoop, while the other has more in the throat. Can we figure that out?

What if the SW is the same? So two different brand sticks with the same SW, same balance, same weight are constructed the same? I'm just curious about how much and where they decide to put the graphite. Some perhaps have greater density at say 3&9, for example (I dunno), but some may distribute the weight elsewhere. I must have too much time on my hands cuz I was sitting around wondering crap like this... LOL

well, i suppose it is physically possible to have two objects with the same weight, length, balance, and swingweight (along the same axis) - but in practice that is hardly the case. I would say that it is impossible for a human to feel the distinction between such two objects - especially if the swingweights of those two objects along two axis around extreme ends are also the same.