I can only comment on the Dobie as an owner, but tried on the Course quite a few times. I also have had lange for the last 15 years although usually with Zip fit's.
To me the most important criteria is fit and there are definite differences. The Dobie is sooo much tighter than the course which is good for my really low volume feet, but even i had the front toe blown out and a little grinding in the heal. The Dobie liner is awesome, thin, but really well made and comfortable. I have the Dobie S and have softened it by cutting the inside of the shell and sometimes take out bolts depending on the temperature and now asbolutely love the flex. The XS was a bit too soft in my opinion and is really low.
Have you tried on the Dobie? I think that will tell you if its even an option because it really is much smaller than the Course. The course while on the narrower side, is much larger than the Dobie.
The Performance of the dobie is amazing. I have never had such good snow feel and control from a boot. Truly awesome.
Mine leak water badly which does suck, but my wife's XS's don't. She also loves her XS's. The buckles since you asked aren't the greatest, but work perfectly fine. The Course has the more refined buckles etc.
For reference I'm 5ft 9 and 155lbs expert skier and only ski 40ish days now(unfortunately) with most being off-piste or touring and I did overnight tours in my Dobies in the Alps last year since I had to leave my touring boots at home and they worked with the exception of the water leakage. I know its tough to find people that actually own the Dobie so feel free to ask other questions.
One last thing, if you get the Dobie, make sure you are near a good bootfitter you really like and respect because you will need their services. I thought mine fit fine out of the box and ended up touring most of the bootfitters in Zermatt, St. Anton, Val, La Grave etc last year.
[ October 31, 2003, 06:38 PM: Message edited by: heed ]