The Salomon and K2 feel quite different. Salomons feel energetic all the time, and the energy feels pronounced when you weight the ski properly and load the tail.
K2s feel damp until you unleash the energy.
The Axis X is a better ski for soft snow, while the X-Scream Series is better (but still not great) on ice and hardpack. I'd like to say this is due to the 2mm extra waist width on the Axis X, but I think it's more the lack of a metal sheet on the Axis X, while the X-Scream Series has titanal sheets.
They're both very fun skis, and if you ski softer snow, either would be a great choice. The Axis is better in moguls and in crud, but they're poorer on hard snow.
This means I disagree somewhat with Rio on the hard snow performance.
I've never skied the plain vanilla Axis (formerly Mod 7/8), but I know it's a more forgiving ski. I would not pick either one for you, because I think you should demo them both and go with your favorite between the two.
[ December 11, 2002, 12:46 PM: Message edited by: gonzostrike ]