After 5 years of low intensity skiing (5-7 days a year) I am ready to buy my first pair of skis and would really appreciate any guidance/recommendations.
I am not quite sure what distinguishes an "intermediate" from an "advanced" from an "expert" skier, so let me describe myself a bit. 36 y.o., 6", 175 lbs male. Live on the east coast and that's where I expect to ski the most, although I'd love to do more trips to the West and to Europe. Although five years of skiing at five days a year doesn't add up to much, I did some related sports (cross country skiing, skating, skateboarding, rollerblading) when I was younger, so as soon as I tried alpine skiing, I was going down green slopes on my first day, blues on my third and blacks in my second season of skiing. I am still more comfortable on blues, but definitely would like to advance to a level where double diamonds are not a problem. I feel more comfortable on skis that are relatively short for my height and weight (in the 160-165 cm range). I ventured into the terrain park for the first time this year and enjoyed some moderate jumps and messing around on the moguls and would like to do that more. I expect to be skiing mainly on groomed surfaces in ski resorts in the near future.
What I am looking for: a pair of dependable, forgiving, fun and (hopefully) affordable skis that carve well and would help me develop from whatever my current level is to the next stage. Given the undependable weather in the areas where I expect to ski (VA, WV, VT), I want skis that will not fail on ice or in packed snow.
What I am NOT looking for: "versatile" skis designed to to well on powder or any terrain other than groomed surfaces and terrain parks.
What I ask you to help with: both concrete recommendations on specific models that would fit my needs, as well as general guidelines on what to look for when shopping for skis (construction, type of tips, waist width, any advice would be very much appreciated!!)
One final note: I already have a pair of boots (Rossignol Carve Z) that I purchased a few years ago at my local ski store and expect to be using them for some time more.