A bit late to the party -- so if you've already gotten the Rev 85's, no problem -- you have plenty of skis in your future, and you can use these five pieces of advice going forward:
1) As a beginner, your focus should be on learning the underlying turn mechanics, which is what provides you with the foundation you need when you ultimately venture off-piste. And to make learning those as easy as possible, I'd suggest a ski that's narrower than the Rev 85 (ideally something closer to 70 mm) and has more sidecut (14 meters radius or less, ideally around 12 meters). This makes it easier to tip the ski on edge and feel the ski making the turn. Therefore I would suggest starting out on a soft slalom-type ski, something like either of these discontinued models: Head X-Shape STX or Fischer RC4 Superrace SC (http://www.amazon.com/Fischer-Superrace-Powerrail-Skis-Bindings/dp/B00EPJ0AJI). Don't be scared off by the Fischer's name -- it's really a learner's ski. In the Fischer, I'm not sure what length you'd want -- probably either the 160 or 165 (one skis these sorts of skis on the shorter side -- perhaps Philplug could advise you). I also think you'd like the Head Mya 7, which I own, but that's nearly impossible to find (yes it's sold as a women's ski, but it's a very solid ski that's ideal for lighter men).
2) Keep in mind that tune is critical. Should you decide to rent "performance" (as opposed to "demo" -- see below) skis, note that many of those are lousy, partly because they are typically badly tuned (demos can also be poorly tuned, it's just not as endemic). The tune (which means getting the bases flat, and putting a proper bevel on the edges) is critical to ski performance. If a ski is badly tuned, it can be unskiable.
3) I'm assuming from your post that you plan to ski 40-45 days not just this year, but for the foreseeable future. That means you are going to progress rapidly, and are going to be back on these boards soon asking for advice on what to get next . The problem with getting guidance from us is that personal reactions to individual ski models can be quite variable, and figuring out what works for you is hit-or-miss without demoing (either from free industry demo days, usually held at the beginning of the season), or from renting so called "demo" skis ("performance" is the term used for the upper-end of run-of-the mill fleet rentals; "demo" is the term used for the kind of better-quality skis you might be interested in buying, such as those listed in this thread). So if you think you are going to want to buy new boards for the 2015-16 season, then take some time towards the end of this coming season (after you've had as many days as possible under your feet) to demo as many different skis as possible. [Other than free demo days, the best way to demo is to find a shop right on the mountain -- that way you can swap out several pairs in one day -- and I've never found a shop that charges extra for this.] This serves two purposes: it gives you a baseline of what you'll like and not like; and, critically, it tells you what length you should buy in a particular model (when you demo, you can try models in diff. lengths). [Note that sometimes a ski won't work for you just because you happen to be "between sizes."] Indeed, one way to buy cheap skis at the end of a season is to demo some models and buy the demo pair you like the best (assuming the demo is in good condition and doesn't have too many days on it -- some shops track their demo rentals with a computer, and can thus tell you how many days it's been skied on).
4) You're almost exactly my size (I'm 5'7", 150#). That means your reactions to skis will tend to be very different from those of the typical guy on here, who is heavier and and taller than we are (and it's mostly about weight, though height matters as well). For instance, the Blizzard Bonafide, Volkl Mantra, and Kastle MX88 get positive reactions from heavier skiers, but I find them too stiff at my weight. Yes, a heavier skier will tend to be on a longer ski, but often going down a size isn't enough to change the ski's inherent stiffness characteristics. And sometimes going down too much in size to compensate for a ski's stiffness will make the ski too unstable for you. Thus you end up with a ski that doesn't bend well in the conditions for which it's designed, and that isn't solid underfoot -- the worst of all possible worlds. Consequently you should really focus on reviews from someone close to your size. And if someone recommends a certain ski, always ask them their height and weight, and what size ski they were on. Among the industry ski reviewers on Epic, I believe the fellow closest to our size is dawgcatching (5'9", 155#), but he's still bigger and heavier. Another well-known industry person that reviews skis and is close to our size is Harald Harb (145#) (but note that he is considered very controversial on this site -- I'm reluctant to even mention his name here!). Feel free to read my reviews, though I warn you my reactions are personal to me (and I've been skiing for many decades, so my needs are different from yours), and thus should only be used as one piece of information (http://www.epicski.com/t/119277/ex-racer-demos-modern-skis-titan-rev85-rtm84-kendo-proph98-finds-himself-delighted-and-confused/180#post_1732539). Another forum member that reviews skis and is on the smaller side is qcanoe (5'7", 135#).
5) Binding delta -- the difference in stand height at the heel minus that at the toe -- determines how far forward the bindings tilt you. These range from ~1 mm (Atomics) to ~6-7 mm (some Looks). This can have a significant effect on performance. A ski that is perfectly good for you can feel lousy if your delta is off. You will want to find your optimum delta (given your current boot). Generally short guys like us (who tend to have a lower ratio of femur:tibia length) tend to need more upright boots, less ramp angle on the bootboard, and a flatter delta (take a look at the series of three pics mid-way down this thread: https://www.j2ski.com/ski-chat-forum/posts/list/12025.page).
Hope this helps!
Edited by chemist - 10/6/14 at 5:36pm