I was at your level 20 years ago when they did not have all these choices. I do have a close friend that is in his third season, but has skied over 40 times this year. He went from his first ski, a K2 Raider, to the K2 Explorer as his one quiver ski. They are stiffer and wider. However, he has made a nice transition on them, though he is still skidding some of his turns. He will grow into them with more time on the hill and will not need to buy a more advanced pair for some time.We ski/live out West/Wa. and do encounter icy conditions. That ski has great edge control for his ability. I, on the other hand ski on 2 sets. 2010 Volkl Ac30 for the groomer days and 2010 Line Prophet 100 for the powder days. I also ski over 40 times a year. Since most of your skiing is in the East, I would get a stiffer ski than the Dynastar 80. A nice ski that is close in size to the Dynastar is the Atomic Blackeye Ti. It has a large sweet spot and stiff enough for ice, wide enough for off piste. If you want to go a little wider, the Atomic Crimson Ti is wider and slightly stiffer, but still forgiving.