Preface: Different strokes for different folks ski choice is a personal preference what I ski and the way I ski it or tune it is someone else's dream or nightmare. The only pairs of 98's I have skied are the Mantras and the Rossi E's
That being said I want to add that after having been on 3 different pairs of E98's they are not equal from the factory. My personal pair was fine with my normal tune of .5 deg base edge 2 deg side. They skied great on the groomers and everywhere else.
After seeing the fun I was having I didn't have to talk to hard to get my brother and neighbor into a pair but after hearing them complain about not being able to ski them I switched skis for a run.
Both of their skis were railed pretty bad esp in the tip area. Very grabby not wanting release ect... So after a trip to the shop and a good stone grind by a competent operator and re-tune this time (1 deg base, 1 deg edge) they were happy as a kid with new skis with their new skis..
After talking to the local Rossi rep he told me there were other people complaining about not being able to ski this ski or not liking it..
I think many times these big skis go out for the first time and peeps are not happy with them because they have not been set up right. The E98 is a Big Boy Big Mtn ski. As mentioned above it is a fat GS ski made to be skied hard in all conditions advanced/expert skiers but with the right tune and setup it can much more enjoyable and even more forgiving for those less technically steeped skiers. The reasons for many skiers dislikes of ski like this can be attributed to not being set up properly. IMHO
I want to mention also that last year I was on a pair of E88's. It took me 3 trips to slopes to get the right tune for that ski it also came edge high from Rossi. Also my wife is on the Temptation 88's this year and loves them I did not take a chance with those skis I took them right to the stone before she ever skied them. 1 deg , 1deg. She loves them and I am a happy man.