Yesterday, I took the plunge and pre-ordered a pair of 180cm 10.20's for next season (I'm in NZ). I demoed lots of skiis this winter, and the 00/01 10.20 170cm just blew me away, haven't grinned like that on skiis for years.
After lots of reading I choose the new 10.20 over the 11.20, based on my stats which sound very similar to you SnowDawg - 5'9", 150-155lb, advanced (20+ years on ungroomed club skifields) and reasonably fit for a 42 year-old. I like to ski agressively sometimes, but don't want to have to be at 100% all day long any more.
The thing is I still have the option to change both model and/or length before final purchase. I'd really appreciate any comments re suitability for me of 10.20 vs 11.20, and 170 vs 180, as I don't know if I'll get on a demo pair before I have to commit around June next year.
I imagine ski conditions in NZ are often similar to the Pacific NW? We ski a lot of ungroomed terrain, often moist / heavy / wind affected, plus ice / crud / bumps / chutes / groomers / occasionally 30cms of nice powder, you name it. I like a ski that lets me have a go at it all. Currently on 188 G31 which feels at least 10cm to long, and is a bit stiff for my weight, but I can still make them work when I'm in the mood. I was a slow learner on shaped ski length - don't want to get it wrong again.
<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 29, 2001 06:35 PM: Message edited 2 times, by Crud Busta ]</font>