Elan HCX ("HyperCarve"), 173cm--my very favorite ski!
I'm on my fourth pair of them, which suggests perhaps their main weakness. With a full-bore race construction, including lots of metal, they are really not meant for hammering hard in moguls. What amazes me is that, even after they have lost the minimal amount of camber they had when they were new, they still ski incredibly well, and hold tenaciously on hard snow, once you tip them up on edge.
While it isn't meant for extreme speeds, and it lacks the "glossy" smoothness of a GS or Super-G ski at high speeds, the HCX never becomes nervous or unstable at any speed that I've had it up to--and I know I've skied over 60mph on it! For a 173 with extreme sidecut, that's pretty remarkable!
I have to be right on them and paying attention in deep or soft snow, but they work all right there too. Being very narrow in the middle, they have very little flotation underfoot. The wide tip and tail float, but if I'm harsh on them at all, they overflex and spring back, throwing me around more than a "mid-fat" type of ski would. They work off piste, but they aren't exactly forgiving.
But the HCX is SO much fun on hard or groomed snow that I'm able to forgive its shortcomings off piste. I have skied it in every imaginable condition, and I use it for teaching every level from first timer to advanced instructor clinics. It's a great ski!
(NOTE: I think my review of this ski is quite objective, but the reader should know that I am an Elan Pro Rep, and have been affiliated with Elan for many years. I really don't think my affiliation with Elan colors my impression of this great ski--I haven't been as enamored of ALL of Elan's skis over the years! But please take my opinions for whatever you think they are worth....)