Very insightful. Of course now you've given me more to think about since I was leaning toward the 169cm Kung Fujas with their slightly longer tape pull measurement, more subtle rocker, and rearward mount. But clearly the 172cm Bacons sound long and floaty enough given my slightly lower weight and similar skiing style/preference... so now it's back in contention. Quickness in the trees and bumps are a priority for me, so if they're even more nimble than the 168cm S3 that's very impressive.
Reviewers often say "great skis, get 'em" or "buy longer, you won't regret it" without giving any indication of their skiing style, height/weight, aggressiveness, or preferred terrain. Depending on the person, "tree skiing" can mean fairly open glades only on powder days or tight icy bump runs with branches whacking your helmet. I ski both, and when I've demoed longer have hated them, but oddly never have regretted buying "shorter" (i.e. manufacturer's recommendation) since I'm conservative and tend to scrub speed, even in bowls. As an inline skater who occasionally hits around 38mph on a 35cm wheelbase, I guess "squirrely" is a matter of perspective.
My big concern was the rocker, but it sounds like the 172cm Bacons will be as stable as my current all-mountain skis (which are only 164cm and 83mm underfoot) but with decent enough float... especially since I'm rarely lucky enough to ski more than thigh-deep powder. Hmmm... maybe I need a psychic to better time those trips out west.
Half of me wants to mount both the Bacons and Fujas just so I can write a side-by-side review myself, but since the skis are similar it would be a waste of money to keep both. It's odd that the only side-by-side I've found is from a guy in the UK who demoed them at an indoor bunny hill, which clearly wasn't the best venue... especially since rental skis can be such a wildcard (wrong sizing, dead camber, dull edges, etc.). He loved the Bacons but said the Kung Fujas felt dead, which is the exact opposite of pro reviews in both Freeskier and Ski mags who said they were playful and poppy... go figure.
I'm not a ski quiver fan... lugging several pairs in the car and then assessing terrain conditions to pick the right ski sounds too much like golf. I just need a versatile pair for trips out west and one for back east. You've convinced me that with the Bacons, I might not even need the separate east coast pair but already own them, so they can deal with the usual ice/rock abuse.
If anyone out there has experience with the 102mm Kung Fujas (not the older 95mm) or Shreditor, perhaps you could round out this discussion with a counterpoint giving your impressions in similarly varied conditions and terrain that Rich was kind enough to detail. Including your ski length, height/weight, ski style, ability, etc. also would be helpful.
Thanks again, Rich, and Happy New Year (and Ski Season) to All.