Re guide. I can't comment first hand on Alpine Experience, but they have a good rep. I've used the Compagnie
des Guides and have been very pleased. http://www.chamonix-guides.com/pages...n/hiver_uk.htm
Actualy, there are hundreds of guides in Cham : For a good feedback on english speaking ones, you could ask David from pisteshors.com or Idris on TGR.com.
Re Chamonix as a resort. Chrisc is spot on. Chamonix is all about off-piste and exposure. It's not conveniently laid out, not well groomed, the lift system is obsolete and crowded by wanabe (english speaking...
) extremo poseurs. But it has a unique atmosphere and the most exposed terrain you can dream of. Take it for what it is and deal with the crevasses. The guides know their stuff anyway and a party of good skiers should have a blast.
For a mix of good groomers and powder, I would have booked in Val d'Isère or Verbier actualy. Or stayed in the States !
Re the different areas
Les grands montets : where the action is. Gnarly terrain, huge verticals. Lifts can be a hassle.
Flégère / Brévent (interconnected) : More suitable for intermediates (for Chamonix). Snow can be lousy at the bottom. Killer scenery
Le tour : the family oriented resort of the valley. Some gnarly and exposed offpistes runs though.
Oh, and : Search
function, Jongs !