I begrudgingly hit Northstar (wife's idea) for the first time recently and I was actually impressed with what the mountain had to offer. First impression of the village...Wow!" Honestly, I'm not looking for a fancy resort, I care more about the mountain. After finishing up for the day to see people chilling on couches next to fire pits and an ice skating rink in the middle of the village I was impressed. I also really liked the various restaurants you could check out. The other thing was for those who have a lot of gear can use a free wagon type thing to pull your stuff or your family's, kinda like a cart in an airport for your luggage, not needed but definitely cool. I give the village an A. I believe their Village is better then what you find at Heavenly or Squaw.
Now, the mountain. It's definitely not Squaw or Kirkwood which are my 2 favorite in Tahoe (I haven't hit Alpine but that will be my next trip out for sure) but the runs were fun. From the Village you can take a lift of a Gondola (mini, about 6 people max) to the main part of the mountain to access other lifts. I stayed on the backside (Backside Express lift) for most of the day then ventured over to Lookout Mountain (Martis lift). The runs seemed pretty long (really enjoyed Challenger) and the overall terrain was fun. I guess I'd compare it to a big Sierra at Tahoe which I think is a sister resort. If you are looking for big open bowls I did not find them here and I also didn't see any cliffs or chutes which you can find at other mountains in Tahoe.
I only had one real gripe and that was the parking situation. I prefer to walk to the mountain but the shuttle seemed like it had to go a long way. The other thing I've heard is that people call it "Flatstar" - I do not think it is as steep or as challenging terrain as other mountains in Tahoe (e.g. Squaw/Kirkwood). Overall, I had a good time and I recommend the mountain to anyone looking for a day chill day out (I'd totally recommend it for couples) and even and great evening if you want to hang out for a good dinner or some drinks in the village.
PS: Forgot to mention that when we we're getting back on the shuttles for the parking lots they were giving out hot chocolate. Definitely a nice touch at the end of the day :).