I would recommend that you not buy the boots online. There may be no shops nearby in Alabama, but there will be wherever you go skiing. Ask around when you get there--or better yet, ask around here at EpicSki--for local advice on the best shop, and the best bootfitter around.
Even if there was a good shop in Alabama, I'd encourage you to wait until you get to a ski resort to buy. Buying and customizing boots takes time, if you want to get it right. A good bootfitter will start by assessing your specific needs and goals, as well as your particular foot and leg shape. Then they'll recommend a few boots that come closest, right out of the box--and begin the fitting and setup process from there. You'll ski on them for a few hours or a couple days, and then report back, letting them know just what you experienced, and they'll tweak them again. It could take a number of visits to dial them in just right. A good shop will work with you until the job is done--and stand by their work after that. You won't get that kind of service from on line!
Consider that the boot itself--which is all you would get on line--is the least part of the equation (although the wrong boot for you could become a huge factor!). The boot is just the raw materials. By far the larger part is the fitting and customized setup that only a good bootfitter can provide.
I fully agree with Phil's advice to hold off on the skis until you've got the boots done right. For both boots and skis, a good instructor may be your best guide to making sure you get what you need--and find the right bootfitter--and to "connecting" with your new equipment as well.
Good luck, and have fun!
Stowe * Aspen * Big Sky