My wife is small and has always had difficulty finding demo skis (for the models she is interested in) in very short lengths. It is pretty frustrating for her. This isn't exactly the same problem, but it leads to the same situation: the inability to demo much before purchasing.
She always does a lot of patient research on what skis are available for the type of skiing she likes to do at her level (Peter Keelty's site is one of the important resources - http://www.techsupportforskiers.com).
We talk with a lot of people we've come to know and whose opinions we respect in ski shops, and we have a few internet buddys; we consider all of these folks as 'surrogates'. At the end of this process, she's usually got it narrowed down to 2 or 3 skis, and then it becomes a matter of finding one of these in the appropriate length (i.e. short).
Anyway, good luck (I know what it's like to have a frustrated woman skier around the house