|If I had to go, Burlington VT would be the most likely location.
that sounds like a good plan. you will have quick and easy access to jay, mansfield, mad river, sugarbush, smuggs, and bolton. essentially, some of the best skiing in new england is within an hour of burlington.
the thing with new england is this: you can have your favorites but you gotta be ready to drive to where the powder falls. despite new england being a small region, an hour or two drive can mean the difference between no snow (or worse!) and the big dump.
sugarloaf was mentioned, but sugarloaf is out in the middle of no where and you don't have as many options nearby for something different (saddleback is great i hear, but that's about it in the area). i think for variety and having a civilization nearby (if you're into that sort of thing), burlington area would have more to offer.
finally, in regards to jay, i have only skied there once and it wasn't a great experience. why? because it hadn't snowed in a long time and everything was hard pack. compared to other mountains, i think jay is really dependant on it's natural snow for it's great skiing options. if you stick to the man made routes around the mountain, there really isn't much to enjoy (imo). i look forward to finally getting over to jay when the snow is right and the trees are ripe. but you will find this experience at many areas in new england. a lot of the season is simply character building, charging down either groomed trails or horrendously chewed up bump/natural snow trails just waiting for something to fall from the sky. it's not that horrible, and when it's good, it's incredible. but it is not consistant no matter where you go. i would wager due to it's location that jay is more consistant than most though.