I'm not well informed about which ski can do what or will fill your needs. I just haven't skied that many. Instead, I would like to give you some things to consider that might help you decide.
You ski 3-5 times a year and next year you're planning a trip to Colorado. I've never been to Breck, but I suspect you'll have an opportunity to participate in a demo there. If I put my business hat on, it says, if you ski 5 times a year, your skis will last you several years. Does it make sense to buy skis for your trip to Breck (lets say 6 days) or where you'll be skiing several years (10 days * 10 years = 100 days). This is assuming when you get your own skis AND BOOTS FIRST, you'll want to ski more often.
In your shoes (boots), I would recommend getting something "used" along the lines of what you think you might like for this season, demoing at Breck, and then buy the skis that you'll be in at your home mountain for many years. The mountain I work at isn't much different than yours and I'm on the east coast too (NH). My go to ski is a WC SL race ski. It's not the best in powder but the 2 or 3 times I have to ski powder I could deal with it. I do have other skis that are more suited for powder but for groomers and crud, a slalom race ski works great...for me.
This year I'll be on a different ski most days. An Elan Amphibio 14. I've never skied it but have always liked Elans and read a ton of reviews and between threads and PM's here, and a call or two to the Rep, I got enough information to believe they are perfect for me, for my intent this season. There are probably several skis out there that are perfect for me but for what I want to do this season, these will fit the bill and I got a great deal.
I would caution that last year I was convinced I wanted the Atomic D2 GS cheater ski for beer league racing. In all honesty, I never took a liking to it. Some love them and I'm sure I'm flawed but I'll take my Elan GS skis over them any day. It isn't really fair to compare a race stock ski to a cheater race ski, but that is how I feel. I'm going to sell the Atomics this year. I probably should have bought the womens FIS GS D2. Oh well.
I can't say enough about the importance of getting boots professionally fit. Do you have to; no, but once you do, from someone that is the real deal, you'll never want anything else. Even though I've been fitted by one of the best (GMOL), I'm going back each year for a tune up. Things change; weight, gait, age, a surgery or three etc. No gear is more important than your boots. What they had to do to my boots last year, would have killed my skiing the year before.
It might be the best thing for you is to get fitted boots this year and used skis, demo skis at Breck next year and then get new skis for the following year. Don't underestimate used skis. There are great deals to be had but you do need to know what you're looking at. Even if you go ten times a year, your skis will last a long time. I ski 50-70 times a year depending on conditions and my ability to avoid an injury. My used WC SL ski got me through last year and will easily do early and late season this year and will have plenty of life and edge.
I know this doesn't help you pick a ski, but my intent is to help you pick a plan. Since my next post will be in "What are you drinking" I might not be clear, but that is my intent.
Have fun and welcome aboard.
Edited by L&AirC - 8/25/12 at 5:56am