I checked my set of Look/Rossi bindings (PX12) against my Markers (M1100). Stepping in on a hard surface, it seems like the Looks took a bit more pressure, but not a huge difference. However, I sat down and tried to put the ski on by hand, and the Looks were nearly impossible. The problem seems to stem from the fact that the treadle (?) for the brake sits higher than were the boot presses onto the healpeice, so you had to vercome the pressure of the brake spring first. The Markers were MUCH easier in that respect.
I never knew about the "easy step-in" feature; I'll have to check that tonight on mine.
Thanks for the info on the new Salomon's; I'll have to take a look and see what they offer. The problem with individual adjustment is that then there has to be a right and left ski, and you have to make sure they are put on the correct foot. A small detail, but if you forget it can be a major problem, I'm sure you'll agree.
That's a GREAT idea, putting a backpack under the skis to step in. Next time I actually have the pleasure of skiing in snow deep enough, I may have to try that just for the hell of it.
Thanks to all, your input is very helpful.