It sounds like you're looking for more than just a pure powder ski, with at least some vesatility - a wise idea.
After years of struggling on the earlier long, straight, narrow skis such as the Volkl Rentiger and LaCroix Soft, I eventually learned pow on the original Rossi Bandit 3X (basically the CUT 11.5 with the burgundy graphics and a tip protector) which is still a hard ski to beat, for an easy skiing cheap used disposable mid-fat.
In September, I finally broke down and bought a pair of full fats, the Fischer Big Stix 106 - named according to the waist width - in the 180 cm length. I was afraid those big plates on the Atomic Big Daddy would toughen them up too much for me. (I'm 155-160 pounds.) So, took the 106's out a couple of days in that horizontal storm last week, sure enough, they're definitely up to their billing; makes bottomless powder seem as easy as groomed, almost like getting face shots on corduroy! Predictably of course, absolutely no versatility whatsoever though. They're highly specialized, strictly for the deep, deeper, deepest pure ka-pow-wow days, no reason to bother with them otherwise. So to my mind, they aren't really worth it unless you can afford a full quiver.
Most of the time, for general softer snow, off-piste and powder up to a foot or more, my mid-width skis of choice are the Volkl G4 188 cm and the Fischer Big Stix 84, 185 cm. The G40/G41/G4 series (current model is the AX4) is a classic, one of the most versatile skis out there. It's metal and wood, partial cap/partial sidewall, very duable without being too heavy, a nice balance of livliness and dampness, about 70-30 carve-float, does any radius turn you feel like, a perfect all day, every day, everywhere compromise board. It's a bit sinky in very deep pow, but fantastic in any crud, works well in almost everything other than shiny hard stuff. My only complaint is that 10 cm increments are too far apart, and for my size/weight/skill level, 188 cm is a little long in tight spots, especially chutes, but 178 cm seems short for off-piste. The Atomic R:EX is very similar, almost equivalent, and is available in a more realistic length range, including about 184 cm, which is perfect for a lot of us.
As for the Fischer Big Stix 84, again, very similar. But with less metal, a little more wood and a woven carbon fiber topskin, they're subtly but noticably lighter and snappier, more forgiving in pow, crud, bumps and tighter spots. They're marked either 185 or 186 cm (depending on the year) but actually measure 184 cm; I think the half-size shorter length helps somewhat, too. They have the solidity and performance that you would expect in an Austrian ski, with almost the forgiveness of a lighter French ski - a really addictive combination. They're maybe not quite as solid on firmer snow, but for that I prefer a narrower stiffer carving ski anyway.
Hope this helps some; everything is a matter of taste. See you on the hill...!
[ December 20, 2003, 11:04 PM: Message edited by: Pilot 3D ]