Ok, here's the deal.
I'm 30 years old, 6'1", 220 lbs, ski about 50 days a year. I live in Colorado, and normally ski the smaller areas (Monarch, Loveland, A-Basin, and this year have a pass to Sunlight as the girlfriend lives in Glenwood Springs).
2007 K2 Recons 178 cm (78 waist) for hard snow days- Great on hard snow, decent in powder, SUCK in crud (the crud constantly pushes the ski around.
2003 Atomic Sugar Daddies 183 cm (99 waist, have hostage plate)- Great pow ski, great on crud, Good on all but the hardest snow. I ski these unless I know there is no soft snow to be found. Problem is, I am running out of edge to grind, and will soon need to retire these, so I need a replacement.
I am an advanced/expert skier, capable on skiing anything in bounds in Colorado, but commonly choose not to ski the truly nasty stuff unless I like the snow.
I prefer STEEP powder runs (Highlands Bowl, The Heathen/East Ride at Sunlight, etc.). I can appreciate mogul runs, but a knee injury from 10 years ago means that I can't do more than 2-3 mogul runs in a day without knee pain cutting the day short.
The girlfriend, as well as several other ski friends, are all developing skiers, so my typical day is split between skiing groomers, me coaxing gf onto some tougher stuff to develop her skills, and me splitting off and hitting some of the more adventurous runs while they ski the easy stuff back to the lift. This means that I need a ski that will be acceptable on hard snow.
The Daddies are in my opinion a stiff ski, and I have come to really appreciate it. They take a bit more effort to turn, but reward with a confidence inspring grip and control. They are NOT a finesse ski, but a ski that wants to hit in hard and hold a turn. They make moguls fun, because the stiffness makes the ski very easy to pop and self-unweight when you drive it over the top of the mogul. Likewise, they hold a line extremely well in heavy crud- very confidence inspiring.
For a replacement, I am interested in a ski with some rocker, perhaps a rocker tip rather than full, with some underfoot camber. I want to keep around 95-105mm, but am interested in over 105 if the ski still have decent hard snow manners. I am not interested in smaller than 95. I do not need a ski that is as stiff as the Daddies, but I think my preference is towards the stiff end.
Also, I want to be able to score a flat ski in the $400 range, so am looking for either 2009-2010 models or waiting till the beginning of next season.
What should I be looking at?