I'm not annoyed by your rating of Chamonix, just surprised. Why do you think Chamonix is over-rated? Surely not with respect to the quality of its climbing routes? If Val d'Isere has superior off piste access I'll definitely have to give it a try. It's hard to imagine easier access to spectacular terrain than that from the Aiguille du Midi, Grand Montets, Brevent, Flegere, etc. lift systems.
Three weeks is the longest single period I've spent in Chamonix. I have been mightily impressed, but I may be attending to different features of the place and its mountain terrain. While in the valley I tend to stay on the outskirts, around Les Gaillands, where there is less noise and congestion. (Less attitude, as well.)
I will admit I wasn't impressed with the restaurants I visited, though I only visited a few of them. I can't comment on the night life; I'm usually asleep by 10 pm. Though opinions can reasonably differ on this point, I think the Mt. Blanc massif offers some of the most beautiful ski touring/ski mountaineering terrain in the world.
For me, it's a huge thrill to find myself walking the same streets as did Rebuffat, Couzy, Terray, Bonatti and the other legendary figures in the history of mountaineering. I'm a sucker for history.
What tours do you recommend out of Val d'Isere? I'm currently making my plans for this spring, and aside from a detour to the Otztaler, I'm headin' for France. Fromage, anyone?