Hi Everyone. I left early Saturday morning, so unfortunately didn't get to read most of your suggestions before skiing, but I appreciate the advice nonetheless.
Today, I demoed the Atomic Nomad Crimson Ti and the Volkl AC50. I wanted to try the K2 Explorer and Nordica JetFuel, too, but they weren't available. I had also intended to try to the Volkl Mantra today, too, but conditions were very hardpack, so I figured there was no point. I first skied the Nomad. I was happy with it, but noticed it required a LOT of forward pressure on the tongue to really engage and carve. It was OK in the hardpack bumps, and I appreciated the lighter weight (especially when hiking with it), but it wasn't nearly as confidence-inspiring as the metrons in heavy/cruddy conditions. I also noticed I tended to carve on the outside ski only for some reason. It could've just been out of tune- they looked a bit tired.
I thought I'd be happy enough on it, would adapt, and was looking forward to the lighter weight, but then I tried the AC50's. They railed turns every bit as hard as my Metrons...maybe harder due to them being 170 instead of 162. They felt a little "dead" though...maybe a bit slower edge-to-edge due to the wider waist. Dimensions are the same as my B5's for tip & tail width, and 1cm wider underfoot, as well as 8cm longer. They felt as good or better in the off-piste and moguls. They're slightly lighter than my old Atomics, probably due to the use of Ti instead of steel.
Very satisfied, although I wished the 177cm size was still available to try. Strangely, these end-of-season demos looked like they'd only been used a couple of times. This being the last day of the season, the shop offered them to me for $500, minus my ~$40 demo charge for a total of $460 for near-new skis (List is about $1150)! I was worried I'd find a much better deal online when I got home, but they seem to be going for about $700.
So, this ski should keep me nearly as happy on the groomers and hardpack, be a bit better off-piste since they're wider underfoot, and be much better in powder due to the width and length. I'd eventually like to supplement this ski with a more off-piste/soft conditions ski like a Mantra, But I'm pretty happy.
P.S. When I got home, my Metron was still on the counter. I pushed the tail off the end, pushed down on it, and it cracked right off. The bottom sheet is still holding it together, and when you flex it into a curve those steel bars take the force on the top, so it can still hold a curve. That's probably why I was able to ski my last run without noticing.