Wow. To me, this is like asking "which flavor of ice cream is better--vanilla or chocolate?" (Or any other two flavors you like.) One need not be better or worse than the other--they're both ice cream, after all!
But I will say that the East makes better ice cream, having just experienced the Ben & Jerry's factory tour in Waterbury, Vermont. Nothing like that here in Colorado!
I grew up in Maine, and skiing was my passion since I could barely walk. I loved it, whether it was little Big Rock Mountain in Mars Hill, or Sugarloaf. I couldn't get enough.
Then I moved to Colorado to ski and teach skiing, and I've lived here for over 20 years. Yes, we can get great snow, and there's nothing like a clear blue Rocky Mountain sky after a 2 foot powder dump overnight. Not that that actually happens with anywhere near the regularity our marketing departments would like you to believe, of course.
But I truly enjoy going back east to ski. I got a few quizzical looks in the airports the last couple weeks, when people realized I was leaving Colorado to go skiing in New England, especially after such a great early season here. But I don't understand any real skier not enjoying skiing in New England. No, it's not the same as Colorado (although again, marketing departments do tend to overstate the actual differences, especially this time of year.) Yes, it rained at Stowe, along with heavy fog, sleet, and other types of "wintery mix" precipitation, including some snow. Yes, conditions got a little "firm."
But I loved it. The challenge of "typical" eastern conditions is different than the challenge of "typical" western conditions. But it's still a challenge! And it's still rewarding when you overcome the challenge, and experience that one great series of turns where everything just comes together. Indeed, a good carved turn may be more difficult on firm "eastern conditions" than on western packed powder (when we have it), but when you succeed, it can feel even better. There's nothing like the sensation of a well-tuned, razor-sharp ski slicing precisely on hard snow, with no slippage whatsoever, and none of the breaking away, compressing, or "looseness" that happens in softer snow.
I know, I know--there's also nothing like waist-deep powder swirling over your head, either. No argument there. But IT IS ALL GOOD! If you haven't experienced one or the other, you haven't experienced all that skiing can offer.
And there is nothing like the sounds and smells and sights of New England skiing. Spring in the west brings wide-open bowls of corn snow. But spring in the east brings the smells of sap flowing in the maple trees mixed with wood smoke from the sugar houses and sounds of ice breaking up in the ponds and streams--PLUS good corn snow skiing!
And New England has a skiing history unmatched in the west. You can see and feel the roots of the sport. A day skiing in New England brings me back to my childhood, where the pure joy of skiing didn't rely on anything more than a little snow, boots that didn't hurt too badly, a few friends to chase around, and a couple dollars for lunch money.
I love skiing in Colorado, and I have no immediate plans to leave. But skiing in the east is great too. I'm glad you don't have to choose just one!