Michigander here. Read just about everything I can on boots over the past few weeks. I raced on the cheapest stuff when I was in high school 10 years ago because it was all my parents could afford. I'd consider myself an expert on MI runs, but I've never been out west. While I could drop $400 on a pair of boots today, I have only went once a year over the past four and rented. I just don't feel I can use an expensive boot enough to make it worth my while, so I'm stingy.
I recently purchased a pair of 27-27.5 Atomic Beta Ride 9.5s that have been used once for $55. Even with long toenails (gross right?), the liners seemed to fit really well. Didn't perform a shell test w/o the liner, but will do that tonight. I don't have ski socks yet (I won't be stingy here I promise), so I just wore a your average thickness cotton sock. After about 15 minutes in the boot, my feet were pretty numb and tingled for 5-10 after I took them out of the boot. I did this twice. The footboard is hard plastic with a rubber ramp stamped "medium". Looks to be factory original (bottom of footbard has size stamp that is used elsewhere on the boot) Cuff felt a little too far forward than I'm used to, but that could be because of the ramp.
I was amazed just standing in them how much they differed from my 28.5, 10-year old, rear entry, one-piece mold, Nordica boots; which I tried on yesterday as well (they are very roomy). The Atomics felt like they could deliver some serious power to the skis (something I don't think I've ever felt). They almost seemed molded to my feet.
Because I'm a cheapo, what suggestions do you have other than going to see a bootfitter to get rid of the numbness or will it be fine after the liners pack out?