Hello and welcome, your questions are not stupid at all, I'm sure most of us have had similar thoughts at some point in our skiing careers!
I live in SE England so I know exactly what you mean by good texan skier! I have a long journey to the slopes also.
To be completely honest I think you have answered your own question! I would wait and demo at Taos, working with a knowledgable bootfitter is vital and like you rightly say, testing and tweaking on site is preferable.
Check out the bootfitting wikis at the top of the page in the boot guy forum. There is a useful guide to reputable people in many areas that people on here trust.
If you really want to master moguls then I strongly suggest lessons, if neccessary renting for another year, that way you can get the lessons you'd need and demo some skis in diff lengths.(it is easier to then get a ski you like cheaply in the off season sales) FWIW I like to ski a little shorter precisely so I can do nippy little turns on changing terrain.
Boots are far more important than skis IMHO so getting these sorted first is a good move on your part. After all, a great skier can make any plank work for him but the greatest skier in the world will struggle with ill fitting boots and not enjoy themselves in the slightest.
Enjoy your season!