I left a reply on your first message but for some reason that thread seems to be gone...oh well.
My wife and I just came back from 3 days at Heavenly last weekend--it was our first time at Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately Mott and Killebrew Canyons were still closed despite the storm.
What prosper said about planning your day right is absolutely right. Don't go back and forth from CA to NV more than you have to--the skating will wear you out. NV has IMO much shorter lift lines and better terrain than CA--though you should check out the views from the CA side at some point! The Boulder lodge is more bare-bones but that's where I'd recommend starting from since it's the least crowded.
Intermediates or those who love groomed blue cruisers will enjoy Heavenly most. My wife loved it. The tree skiing is decent, especially since most of the people who ride Heavenly don't take advantage of it. We had no problems finding untouched powder all day long in the trees, even just 25-50 meters from the trail. True beginners will be very limited in the amount of green terrain available--I wouldn't recommend Heavenly to novice skiers. Advanced/expert skiers who like steeps might get a little bored skiing Heavenly for more than 3 days--take a break and go to Kirkwood. Hopefully Mott and Killebrew will be open when you get there. Didn't seem like there was much in the way of terrain parks, although I wasn't looking either.
Lodges are a little small and get very crowded at lunch. Eat early (before 11:30) or late, especially on weekends.
As for the South Lake Tahoe area, it's not in the 'quaint ski town' mold. Think mini-Vegas. But if you enjoy the casino scene you'll have a good time.
Have a great time!