I spent past 3 days up at Stowe and demo'd the 2 skis I had narrowed down to in my search ... 170cm Nordica Steadfasts and 173cm Blizzard Bonafides. First day was on steadfasts and as expected they are quite light and playful. Temps were in low 30's and snow started a bit hardpack but then softened up. The steadfasts were very responsive in tight quarters and skied very well through the bumps and trees. I did though find they were a bit unstable on high speeds and chattered a fair amount on harder type crud, although still more stable than my current ski (168cm Volkl titanium all stars). Overall I enjoyed the steadfasts and ended the day thinking I would be happy to purchase them.
Day 2 was on Bonafides in similar conditions, although snow a bit softer as warmer through the night and day. After 1 run on bonafides I had made up my mind that these skis are my next purchase! They were also very reponsive in bumps and tight quarters (and even a bit more than the steadfasts), but actually I found them much more stable in harder snow and held control incredibly well at high speeds. I have not been on a ski that made me feel so in control in all situations and just turned effortlessly when asked. I now fully understand why nearly every review of the bonafides are so positive. This is truly the best ski that I have ever been on and gave me another level of confidence on the snow.
There was no freshies when I was there so cannot comment on them in any powder, but the front rocker and wider width vs steadfasts would make me feel confident they would perform well in deeper east coast snow.
Thanks to all who have posted comments on these 2 skis as this helped me narrow down my selection. Now just need to find the bonafides at a good price as it seems they are in very low supply.
Also, the guys at Pinnacle Sports where I demo'd skis were fantastic. Very knowledgeable, friendly and a great price for a full days demo.