The fact is, Gonz, that if no one ever "said" anything about them, you and I wouldn't have as good a chance to KNOW that they are there to be tried. Although I and you and several others here have a strong interest in the technical and performance aspects of equipment, many others don't - and they'd like some idea where to start looking for their next pair of skis, so the marketing is a help.
Since the magazines sort of "rank" skis within a category, it does make a difference whether they're comparing skis based on the ability of the skier ["All Mountain Expert, Player"] or on the intended use for the ski ["Expert Freeride, Intermediate Freeride"]. Market positioning is IMPORTANT, both for the consumer and the manuacturers/vendors.
As for trying skis "no matter what anyone says about them", it just doesn't work that way. I spent a few days on the hill with manufacturers' reps and retailers. My first expectation was to "try all of them no matter what anyone else says about them," to borrow your phrase. Couldn't do it! Humanly impossible! There were just too, too many models and lengths to try them all. So, as it turned out, my conversations with manufacturers' reps and retailers - what they said - helped, and in fact was necessary, to make the experience at all useful. The techies sure did THEIR part: After a miserable time on the Rossi Bandit XX in 177 cm, the techie urged me to try the 170 cm - and the rest,as they say, is history! I fell in love with the Bandit XX's, and I've been enjoying a torrid affair them ever since!
[ August 19, 2002, 04:19 PM: Message edited by: oboe ]