Are women-specific skis just a marketing tool or will your average chick notice a difference? I'm zaftig (a womanly shape, for lack of a better term in English, so if woman-specific design makes a difference to your recreational woman with ambitions to ski 60/40 on/off piste to start with, it would make a difference to me.
I'm an intermediate skier, fairly aggressive, on groomers for now but learning parallelism quickly. I have strong ambitions to ski the whole mountain, especially all that powder that still intimidates me. I know I won't find a ski that's perfect for all conditions and terrain, but I need something that will allow me to expand my skills and identify what more specific needs I will have next year.
I tried Volkl Kenjas when I was still thrashing, and they required a little more agression than I could maintain at the time; I should demo them again now that I'm more confident. Rossi S80s were great groomer skis, and S90s were more stable in storms with crud, chop and 10-foot visibility, and still pretty good on groomers. I haven't tried non-woman-specific skis or other brands yet.
Any guidance would be helpful. Demos are expensive, so the more I can narrow it down, the better. Oh, and the S90s are on clearance for $279 at REI right now, but I'm trying not to be influenced too much by the price.