Maybe not on this trip, as it's really far from the area you're looking at, but check out a couple of towns in Italy.
First: Covara in Badia - Tucked off the backside of the Groednerjoch (Val Gardena Pass), Corvara gives you access to all of Val Gardena's extensive terrain, plus much better lift accessed backcountry in the Sella Group, for about half the price of Val Gardena or Cortina. The nightlife is pretty good (but you're definately gonna be too pooped to party if you manage to ski the all-day-long expert backcountry run "Val di Mezdi" or "Mittagstal," off the back of the cliff encircled Sella Group. It's a mile of vertical from the summit of Piz Boé, the highest peak in the neighborhood at 3343m. Check out the three star Hotel Col Alto. I stayed there this summer. They bill themselves as three star but we definately received 4 star service, at what I would call 2 star prices. They also speak the best english of the hotels in the area.
Second: Bagolino - Bagolino is a tiny little town at the southern end of the Parco di Adamello (Adamello National Park), famous for arms making during the height of the venetian empire. The skiing there is relatively unknown to travelers, it being mostly an area for locals and the occasional day tripper from Brescia, the nearest city. The lift served area is full of really interesting larch glades and apparantly has some great mogul runs (can't really vouch for the surface though since I've only been there in summer) according to a local I spoke to. The Backcountry opportunities are endless. The 2863m "Cornone di Blumone" or "Blumenhorn" has four large couloirs descending from its rocky summit in each direction, three of which lead directly back to the lifts. I got the impression from folks I spoke to in the area this summer that the area is rather unpopular with skiers in that part of Italy cheifly because the terrain is so challenging. With the lack of recognition that Bagolino gets, you're sure to get fresh tracks almost anywhere you go outside the core of the area. One drawback, you MUST speak some Italian or German. Bagolino is not a very cosmopolitan place. The people are very friendly, but it's awful hard to buy a beer speaking english. Oh... and beware the drink known as "Grappa." It's the sweetest tasting, most potent horse-killing form of alcohol that has ever touched my lips. I pride myself on a rather high tolerance, and that stuff always, every single time, makes me power puke like a champion. So watch out for locals trying to get you drunk on Grappa unless you want to see your lunch face to face. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]