The Beast was certainly the more comfortable boot (although I didn't have it on for along as the Icon, so it wasn't really a fair test). The reason I'm comparing these boots is that the sticker price of the Icon is a couple hundred dollars more than the Beast, but it has been marked down to the same price. If it's a much better boot, I want to seriously consider it.
I agree with everyone who says "pick the boot that fits you." The only reason I'm considering new boots is that my current pair has a chronic hot spot on my ankle that I just can't rid of, and I'm tired of skiing in pain. I will be much more careful selecting my boots this time.
I don't really know what I need as far as stiffness. I'm a fairly new skier who makes up for lack of technique with strength; I muscle my skis around more than I coax them. I don't think anyone has ever accused me of being centered and balanced over the sweet spot, which means I'm bashing off the front of my boots a lot. Too much stiffness would probably not be a good thing.
That said, I do try to ski all over the mountain, and generally spend more time off the groomers than on. I plan on spending a lot of time on the chutes on the back side of Lake Louise (to learn to ski steep), and I'll probably spend quite a bit of time in the bumps. So I do need some stiffness.
I want the same boot everybody else wants. It has to be stiff enough to give me good control, but not too stiff to be comfortable. It has to be tight enough to be responsive, but not too tight to be worn for five or six days in a row. And, of course, it has to look good... I'm not asking too much, am I?