I've been out a few years with shoulder repair things (rock climber and hiker here), bought a season pass for my local hill, Mount Hood Meadows in Oregon. Jonesing for snow, figured I'd look around to see if I should get a new pair of planks. (Of course the answer was YES!) The Ski magazines have ski reviews for all mountain skiis that sound like they've taken boilerplate, swap a few words around here or there, give everything a high review, (OMG THESE ARE FANTASTIC FOR THE BLAH BLAH AND THE BLAH) and leave you as confused as before and feeling like you really need to buy at least 10 to 20 of the skiis out there, they are all so good. If the reviews didn't have differing photos, you'd probably think they were the same product. Outside Magazine had a great bunch of reviews, but I noted that the entire cover was a Gert Boyle advertisement for Columbia and Mt Hardware. If they'll sell their ass on the cover, you have to figure the content is all but worthless having been sold to the high bidders as well.
Tripped over this forum and saw some more realistic and in depth ski reviews and discourse from the folks here. THANK YOU!!!! As a FYI, I'm 165-170 lbs, ski advanced, relatively good on groomers and relatively poor on bumps, crud and steeps- which I want to correct. Part of it was that I couldn't bring myself to spend the kind of $ratch that a good pair of planks wanted. Now the last pup has grown up, moved out, graduated college etc, and papa realized his bank account can buy any damned ski he wants. In fact, multiple pairs. Just pulled the trigger on a pair of 172 Rossi Soul 7 with the rossi 120 bindings to start the ball rolling. Did it based strictly on the discourse on this site, never even seen a pair, let alone ride a set. One of the links: http://www.epicski.com/t/120313/2014-rossignol-soul-7-the-spork-of-skis
Next - once we get snow, I'll pay to do the demo at the Mountain ($60 you can rent 3 pairs in a day) and see if there is anything I like better or for differing conditions. We'll see how it goes, just wanted to thank the folks putting up some great reviews on this site so idiots like me aren't quite so lost.
BTW, old habits - I'm still cheap, bought a used demo set of Soul 7s out of France as it was cheaper ($465)