I wanted to update my thread to let everyone know what I decided with skis.
I went ahead a purchased a pair of Head Rev 78's. One word, Awesome! I really like these skis. The boot/ski combination is definitely better than anything I've ever experienced. Thanks to all for the help! I liked the skis so much, I went back to the shop where I purchased them and gave the salesman a high-five. I decided to go with the 78's because I know that the majority of my skiing will be on groomers. I can't imagine that my ability will catch up with the ski for this season or next...
I decided to buy instead of rent for 2 reasons. Firstly, I knew I had about 10 rental days ahead of me and didn't want to throw money away (as I saw it.) Secondly, I had a bad rental experience that pushed me over the edge.
I rented a pair of skis a few weekends ago. I walked into the rental shop with my own boots. After an hour-long wait standing in line, they took some measurements of the boot, asked me a few questions and then set the bindings. The girl never had me try the binding in the shop, which I now know was a mistake. I presumed everything was set (she was the expert, right?) and was eager to get on the slopes. I took the skis outside and got to skiing. I had skied half the day and something didn't feel right. I thought it was just me. I felt like I was fighting the skis had presumed I was just having a bad day. I was standing in line for the chair lift and hit my right ski on the ground to get the snow off it. The toe of my boot popped out of the binding. I put it back in the binding, hit the ski again and the toe popped out again. I got my boot back in and started taking a closer look at the bindings. I moved my boots back and forth slightly and they were moving, but the skis were not. Now I could clearly see a gap between my boot toe and the binding (where there basically shouldn't be one.) I brought the skis back up to the shop and told the guy that they weren't right. He looked at them and said "you're right." I told him to give me another pair of skis and he did. We checked the bindings and everything from then on was fine.
I've since talked to the rental manager he agreed that they were set up incorrectly. He told me there were about 5 ways that a boot could fit into a binding, but 1 of them was correct. He also told me that the majority of people renting skis, also rent boots. He thought for every 100 renters they get, about 2 have their own boots. Additionally, they have fixed bindings matched to boots, so they rarely deal with a guy and his own boots and have to actually adjust bindings. He said that wasn't an excuse and everyone was properly trained to deal with someone like me. I told him that I was concerned that girl didn't know what she was doing and it would happen to someone again. He appreciated the concern and ensured that all of his employees would become reacquainted with the proper binding set up, if they didn't know already.
I learned a lot from that experience, and decided that owning skis and having them maintained by someone I know would make me feel a bit more comfortable.
At least now, I won't have any excuses when it comes to the skis, boots or bindings. I can now concentrate on skiing!
Thanks again for all the input. You guys have helped immensely.