Originally Posted by sibhusky
Other than having the right length, I'd say that there is not another piece of equipment you own that has less impact on your skiing. Mittens and goggles clearly will be more important even, the right coat, the right underwear, and certainly your boots and skis, will be more important. Why obsess about poles?
If you want them to fill out your new gear ensemble so you will look rich and cool, get the composite, because they are the state of the art and show you have money to throw around on gear.
However, if you are thinking purely of function, go to a Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift shop (or other second hand stores), and often they will have big bins of poles for $2-3, get a few pair, pow, you're set for decades.
Oh, and as far as shock absorbsion, ease up on your pole plants folks, what are you trying to do stab the mountain to death?