I picked up a a pair of boots for $200. I didn't really have anyone help me out with them that much, they were at a clearance sale from last seasons gear. The boots fit pretty well, and I liked them. So far I've only ever used rental ski boots however, so I don't really know how ski boots are supposed to feel. The MRSP on the boots was $425 I think.
Just to make sure I picked up the right boots I headed down to the local ski shop, and asked them to pick out a pair of boots for me. They said that the boots I picked didn't work because of the fact that the heel did not fit properly into the boot. I was kind of unsure about this as well when I picked out the boots, but I found out by tightening down the strap I can get it to fit. The main reason was that the front of my foot is a medium fit while the back (heel) is very small and bony.
Hence the local ski shop suggested I purchase a pair of $500 boots. They were this seasons boots and they were $700 MSRP. The difference between the two boots is the $500 one felt like an extension of my foot and the $200 one felt more or less like a ski boot. As far as my skiing abilities go, I used to go a lot three years ago. I couldn't go for the last 3 years because I was a student with a job in the winter, which prevented me from skiing. When I was able to ski a lot I was going down a lot of steep mountains, moguls, powder, and occasionally I did things in the park as well. I would ski blacks/double blacks fairly well, I might occasonally crash on a double black if I went too fast. I would say I was intermediete, maybe leaning on the advanced side.
Anyways I also did all of those things with the terrible rental skis, I've never owned skis before. So I just want to know is the $300 between the two boots worth it or not?