I'm a mostly New England skiier (with an yearly or every-other-yearly trip out to the Swiss alps where I get my powder fix), skiing mostly steeps, groomers with some trees and bumps thrown in when the snow is good), skiing no more than 10-15 days a year. I'm an expert skier though post-kids I tend to be more laid back and less aggressive. I weigh in at 5' 11" and 180lbs.
Pre-kids, I was skiing on a 1998-ish Dynastar Coupe S9, possibly the world's most fun ski. Skied on those until a few years ago when the bindings went (the low-end Marker race bindings from probably '97), and the ski repair shop talked me into a pair of Volkl Superspeeds they had on consignment instead of replacing the bindings on my aging and rather beat up S9's. Every year I've talked about putting a new pair of bindings on the S9's, but this year I'm finally thinking about replacing them altogether, but looking for a ski with the same type of zing as the S9's. The S9's were a 203; I'm ashamed to say the Superspeeds are the 160-something length (yes, I still have an ego problem with downsizing 30+ cm ;)).
What I like about the Superspeeds: Deadly grip, pretty fast for a ski that short, stable,
What I don't like about the Superspeeds: they've way too heavy, they don't really fit my super-short-turn skiing, they're way too stiff, which kills me when I try and hot-dog it with the kids and land those jumps on New England ice, and they don't have anywhere near the energy/fun the S9's had going into or coming out of turns. I'm that guy that's always in the 2ft of powder left at the edge of the trail, unless I'm skiing trees or bumps (or hitting the race course), so I'm probably also skiing them in ways they weren't made to be skied, but though the Superspeeds grip great on bigger turns even there they're not compelling enough to push me to change my style.
I'd probably keep the Superspeeds since they are a pretty capable ski, but I'd like a ski with the short-turn zing of the S9's I could take into the bumps and trees as well.
If I were tempted to pick a ski I'd go for a slalom ski over all-mountain since I doubt many all-mountain skis will have that carve, flex and tremendous rebound the S9's had, but I'm willing to be talked into the right all-mountain ski. I drove the S9's through many a steep and groomer but also into the trees and occasional bumps (ok, at a 203, they were definitely not the perfect ski there, but still plenty of fun).
So what do you folks think I should be looking at? I'm unlikely to buy anything soon, but figure this year might be the year to try out and see what I like, but I need some help picking where I should be starting.