Nice to hear from you, Richie-rich. Extroverte? Yes. Shameless? Never ashamed. I paid $125 for six pairs of boots, $200 if you add in the shipping from online sellers. I was away from skiing while I started a business and raised children. In the Nineties I was discouraged by the high price of equipmetn and my neighbors' laments that they couldn't afford family ski trips anymore, and when they could afford it, their kids always, always got sick on the postcard days.
Jump to 2000; I find $10 Nordicas at a garage sale and $8 Salomon SX52s on eBay. They fit better than the only boots I ever bought new (back in the 70s) and better than any boot I ever rented. Both boots were rear-entry. I figured out that my flat feet and displaced arches had never really agreed with overlap boots. The ease of online shopping combined with the buyers' market for the fallen-from-favor rear-entry boots has worked out well for me. I continue to find bargains, and I have learned a lot about canting, alignment, and padding that has substantially improved my skiing.
Same quiver strategy for my skis. Craigslist and March Madness clearance sales mean I have skinnies and sidecuts in lengths from 130 through 203 for my novice sons and me.
We end up with similar shoe sizes for a 314 to 324 sole length, so we have boot fitting sessions in the living room, They have learned canting and alignment; when I was their age, the only people who knew about it were on the French national ski team. The blue Lange CRLs (10, 28.0, 345) hurt my feet after three runs, but my son with the narrow feet found them much to his liking. $12 on the clearance table at Sports Authority.
I like being able to choose an aggressive boot, or a cruising boot, or a flexible boot for videography, or a light boot for long days teaching my boys. And once in a while I pick a boot because it matches my jacket and the graphics of my skis : )