I regret that my first post on this awesome forum is a request for help, but trust me - you don't want my advice about skiing! At least not yet. I'm hoping that with the help of this community I'll grow and be able to give back over the years to come, though.
I want to buy my first set of skis. I have spent several hours every day for the past couple of weeks going over buying guides and forum posts and it seems to me that there are so many variations in skier ability, size, style, and aspirations, that every time I think I've got it figured out, I read another post that changes my mind. So, I apologize for not being able to better use the great information folks have already shared. It seems like more information has been helpful for recommendations, so I have posted a lot.
The abridged edition: I am 40 years old, 6' 5-1/2", 200 lb., with an athletic but not muscular build, who is probably an advanced-intermediate.
The backstory: I grew up nordic skiing in Minnesota. In the past 15 years (before this year) I skied 4 times, once in Minnesota on a somewhat-vertical hockey rink called "Mount Kato," and three times in Oregon. After moving to Colorado, we decided to get into skiing as a family, and I have skied 4 times this year on a season-rental pair of skis. I don't know the style, but they are Rossignols, with a length of 165, which seems really short for the recommendations I've been reading.
Like I said, I'm probably an advanced intermediate, but probably not a real well-rounded one. I feel fine with the steepness of black diamonds, but have only skied them at Eldora and Breckenridge, which may not be as challenging as black diamonds elsewhere. I feel really comfortable and not very challenged on blues, usually, so I try to figure out how to make quicker turns and emulate the better-looking skiers who seem to ski with their skis closer together then me. Also, I like to noodle through the trees on blues, but do best if I'm following established tracks (maybe because I such dinky skis, every time I go off into softer stuff I almost flip over the front of the skis). I also try to get air on blues, but usually at pretty low speeds, and usually with results that my wife thinks are funny (and are frequently painful!). My strengths might be balance, relative level of fitness, and sense for snow, mostly from other sports.
I am pretty sure I lack technique. What I would really like to do is get a pair of all-mountain skis that can help me develop my technique. On moguls on blue and not-so-steep black diamonds, I wipe out pretty much all the time, and struggle to link turns and turn quickly enough to get through more than one or two bumps fluidly. I haven't gotten up the courage to try moguls on steeper blacks, and I haven't tried off-piste runs, though I'd like to learn to do both. I'd like to develop tighter, faster turns, so I've been leaning toward carving skis, but my size and the idea of being able to try some powder has me wondering about midfats, too.
I'm planning on going window shopping through the end of this season, then buying in October.
Thanks in advance for any of your insight on skis, bindings and boots!