God some of you fellas are weird. To the original poster, obviously you have a little experience with each branch of skiing, carving, bumps, park, powder, etc... So based on your experiences you should have the mental capacity to decide whats right for you for each type of skiing. Personally I only have 6 seasons total under my belt, but I'm young (17), fit, and am a very aggressive skier, at least at my small easy coast mountain, but I can't seem to be able to make any kind of a turn on any kind of snow without poles, it freaks me out.
Not me. I find that my poles are dragging beside me at least 50% of the time, and when I did use them, it just felt like I was using them just to go through motion, not actually helping me in any noticeable way. So I tossed em and haven't missed them yet. I like to pick the brains of people on here. It can get really interesting sometimes, and as someone else said, talking about helmets is old.