I never updated this with the results of my mission. I ended up going to Start Haus as planned and had a boot fitting with Jason. He was very friendly, approachable, muscular, and obviously highly skilled in his craft. All the staff there were warm and seemed to genuinely love the Truckee/Tahoe area. I was even offered cookies.
Despite me not being an established skier of any sort, with no lingo to throw around, Jason still worked with me at length to find the best fit for my unusually low volume feet. Just wanted to point this out, because at other shops, I have felt a bit of elitism amongst ski/snowboard shop employees, where they don't seem to want to spend much time with you if you're just another recreational intermediate.
Jason and Start Haus epitomize quality customer service tailored to each individual that walks through their doors. Long story short, I would recommend them whole heartedly.
Due to my very low volume feet and my desire for a boot not too soft - he put me in a LANGE RS 110, S.C., along with custom footbeds.
I noted to him my ice hockey skating experience and he felt that was even more reason to put me into these snug stiff race boots. I did not have to try any other boots on.
I have never felt such a precise fit on my feet, ever. He did also make a punch where I have a weird bone protrusion.
At the end of the session, he measured for any irregularities between my legs. Apparently I am 3.5 degrees off on my right side and 1 degree on my left side. It was highly advised that I get these "canting" issues addressed eventually. Jason made sure to let me know that canting work would be an additional $200. I held off on this until I was later convinced the next day, by ski partner @NearNyquist, that this was a huge issue that should be addressed immediately.....I am a sucker for gear, so I went ahead with it.
We went in later to get the canting adjustments by Mike.
I have used the boots only 4 days in total - 2 in Alpine Meadows and 2 in Alta. They really have changed my experience of skiing. The only modifications I have made so far are to bring the top 2 buckles in more, as my feet would start to feel loose by EOD.
And here are my very first Ski boots!!!! (beauties):
The neon yellow bits are the sole protectors.
BIG THANKS TO JASON at the Start Haus. These are my babies now!