Big thanks for all your time. Your advice does challenge my thinking. And I go back to recheck things...
The Elan Pinball ski is available in a 175. As the description reads, it seems a nice playful ski for beginner like me. I've done lots of research and I like Elan, among others.
A little about me would add context to my rationale on this setup...
Yes. I am tall at 6'1". This plays into the reasoning for taking up skiing over continuing to be happy with snowboarding. It's just a more versatile way to play in snow. Judging by all the video I've been watching, reading and other research.
Back near end of 2009, I weighed in about 205 lbs. Since taking up snowboarding in Jan 2010, getting more into gym, and changing my food habits, I'm steady on about 195 lbs.
To understand my ability, one should consider that I've an above average intellect. By that I mean that generally I can master a craft in a short time. It helps that I have an obsessive personality when it comes to will power. Case in point, from the day I began to teach myself how to snow board, I continued to put myself on the local hill nightly for a min. of 2 hours running 15 consecutive days until I was linking turns down blue runs with confidence. Now I cruise on my board and outrun some intermediates who've been boarding for years. I finished same season as I started on black diamond runs atop Jay Peak in Vermont. And I just got back from a great week at Lake Louise. But maybe I digress?
What I realize is that "beginner" or "novice" when referring to another skier immediately brings to mind the most unathletic, and feabilist of persons futzing around while they try and make it down a green run without taking out themselves or others. I'm not saying I won't look awkward in the beginning or even fall. But my athletic, intellectual abilities and pure will usually put me at advantage. :-)
Now. About the Daimir Fritschi Eagle 10s. Other than a ridiculous sale I've my eye on, which puts these at near $300, these are a wonder of a product. They CAN perform in Nordic/Cross-country, AT/Back-country, and the Alpine/down-hill. Look closely at how they have engineered the front hinging. ;-)
About the boot choice. As reported by others these are better fitted for "wide feet", which I have. Of course the length is determined by the common value of 29.5 found while trying on many other boots. The shell composite can be further fitted by a pro fitter and the footbeds can be made by them as well.
My end goal is to get in at a reasonable cost at $200 boots + $300 bindings + $250 skis, and really just be reviewing a nicer ski in a season or two.
Obviously I am battling the common battle between what is good for me and what is good for the economy. I'd love to find a setup where you could just hit a switch and your ski would retract the sides for improved performance on groomers while hitting another would eject the sides for improved width and float on deep powder conditions. Or maybe a device that at least let's me transfer my binding investment to another ski? But as is evident, beyond the physical obstacles, this industry is hell bent on profits. ;-)