I don't know how prices are in Australia. In the U.S., buying a good pair of skis will typically run $500-$900 if you buy online. For example, I paid $670 for my AC50s and Marker wide-ride bindings including shipping, plus $80 to get the bindings mounted and set up for my boots, and the skis waxed, for a total of $750. Renting demo skis typically runs around $45/day, I think. So ignoring the costs of maintaining your skis (tuning and waxing, and annual binding check), my skis "paid for themselves" after about 18 ski days. And btw you will need to get your skis waxed and tuned regularly, that or learn to do it yourself (not rocket science for a basic tune and wax, though you'll still probably want a pro to check it all out at least once a season when they check your bindings). If the cost ratios are much different in Australia, that may influence your choice.