Sounds to me like the shop guy was giving your friend a sales pitch as far as the Pilots are concerned. Regarding your question on the Vertigo Motions, I'm 6'1", 205 lbs, and I bought a pair of 184's. Later tried a pair of the same ski in a 177, and thought that they would be okay for me. At your height and weight, you could probably go with either the 170 or 177 depending on what you want to use them for. Best way to know is to try them both, but if that's not an option, think of what you're going to be using them for the most. Obviously, if you're going to ski a lot of bumps, go shorter, although I wouldn't recommend that ski for bumps because of durability issues. If you're going to ski mostly in the West, you might want to go longer. If I had to make a snap judgement, I'd probably go with the 177. You're not that much lighter in weight than I am, and I find a 170 is usually too short for me in anything other than a slalom ski. The Vertigo Motion is a midfat, and I assume that you're getting that type of ski because you want to ski in ungroomed conditions at least some of the time. Going too short in a ski that was designed for off piste will negate some of the advantage of extra floatation that you bought the ski for in the first place.