Originally Posted by Billiam
Conclusions I have drawn: Have her demo. Try to find a pair of Salomon 1080's to demo. No women responded to my query.
The Volkl Aura is almost universally loved by most female testers. Go to Skidiva.com (women's ski site - you can't post there, but you can read the open forums) and search "Volkl Aura" for reviews. It is 94 mm underfoot, so on the edge of the 70/30 piste/off-piste mix that you are looking for.
The Volkl Aurora is a beefy ski, 88mm underfoot (I believe), but surprisingly nimble edge-to-edge, perhaps because of the new integrated wide binding. It holds an edge well on hardpack and is fine in deeper stuff. It's confidence-inspiring, but lacks the "wow this is fun" factor. Also can get away from you if your concentration lapses.
The Line Pandora 162 is 112 mm underfoot, twintip, with early taper. It's got enough sidecut to be easily controllable on groomers; but in any fresh snow whatsoever, it's a blast. The mounting point is very far forward, so the tails are long; this can take some getting used to. I love them now. The ski inspires playfulness: every terrain feature is something to be jumped off of, and the long tails pop me forward if I land back seat. The one thing about them I didn't like was that they tended to slide out on hardpack/ice. But I just got them tuned to 1 degree base/2 degrees side, and they're fine now. So I'd say that the Line Pandora is fine on the groomers, super fun on soft snow. Note that the Line Pandora 175 is a different ski than the 162. The 162 is modeled on the unisex Sir Francis Bacon, an all-mountain/powder ski. The 175 is modeled on the softer Elizabeth, more of a park/powder ski.
The K2 Luv line is popular. I have the Burnin Luv (68mm waist), which I used to like but not so much anymore. Wider waists are available in different models. In general, I think the K2s are pretty damp. The Tough Luv compares to the Volkl Aurora, but is less nimble, IMHO.
In sum, you probably can't go wrong with the Aura. If she likes to play around in soft snow, she might find the 162 Pandora hugely fun. The Aurora is a more "conventional" all-mountain choice, and I'd steer you away from the K2 women's line.