"I just figured I was a newbie and wasn't worthy of anyones time."
#1: work on the self-esteem issues. If you feel you're not worth anyone's time then you won't be.
Seriously, though, as said earlier, a bit more info would be crucial.
age (though that's not always super relevant)
last ski you owned that you loved (even if it's 10 years old it will still give folks an idea of what you were on and what you might like to be steered toward).
average days on a hill a season
type of terrain you ski the most (groomers, off-piste, bumps, etc)
will you be skiing predominantly in the East or West
what you are hoping to get out of the ski
also, if nobody has mentioned it, you should get boots first then worry about the skis (especially if you've been out of the mix for 10 years...the boots are tres importante!)
and yes, DEMO!
also, the ski mags all put out their Buyer's Guides back in September. See if you can snag a copy of SKI, Skiing, Freeskier, Powder and read their reviews. While not a perfect solution, it should help you to narrow down some choices (they tend to all break the skis into general categores like All Mountain Cruiser, All Mountain Expert, Aspiring Expert, Powder Skis, Big Mountain Skis, etc). Good place to start to get a general idea of what's out there and what might appeal to you and your skill/style. The mags may also have portions of the guide online, just check their respective websites.
Basically, I was in the same boat you were 3 seasons ago. I just visited a lot of shops and told them what I had been riding (Rossi 7S in a 198). I told them what I liked about the ski (fast, stable at speed, quick turning) and what I hated about the ski (long, cumbersome in powder) and then they started giving suggestions. I wrote the suggestions down. Then I read the skiing mags and picked some likely candidates from there based on what I knew I wanted from a ski. Then I started demoing. Best thing to do when demoing is find a shop that will let you demo multiple pairs in a day. this will usually be a shop at/near a resort. in fact on mountain is optimal as you can usually ski in, swap out for a new pair, ski out (Northstar in Tahoe offers this, so does Beaver Creek and a few other resorts with villages and shops right there on the mountain).