I'm on a budget. Problem is that I'm probably considered an "advanced" skier. Most new boots in the advanced category seem to all cost north of $600 and my neighborhood ski shop (Chicago) rarely offers deep discounts/sale prices. I bought my skis two years ago on Evo and had a great experience. Now I realize that boots are a different story, but I have to admit that it's easier to pay $300 for an '10 high-end boot versus $700 for a '13.
I currently ski in Technica Icon TNT X boots that have served me well but are frankly pretty old and have never been especially comfortable. These were bought from a local shop and I went through the whole fitting process as well as ponied up for the custom liners (probably spent over $600). I ski mostly the back bowls of Vail with the occasional bump run/front side groomer mixed in. Performance is important but not at the complete expense of comfort.
So if one were to go the online route, I have two questions: 1) any suggestions on models from the last couple of years that might fit the bill and 2) would a local shop even help with a fitting if I didn't buy the boots there?