Hence why NS Gear Guide should be one of the better if not the best review guide of the year. From your statement of how companies the magizine are reviews are getting paid from basically sums up every single publication. From what i understand i'm pretty sure NS is not getting paid as much or if any from these compnaies. Thus, a deeper and more in depth review of skis, boots, bindings and hardgoods
But like you said as well every 'Review' and 'Gear' Guide is flawed from every skier's perspective. The perfect ski is depend on the factors of your Weight, Height, Age, Ability, and Location Location Location. Such factors cannot be simply achived with the varible amount of time the reviewers are given and such a broad range of testers cannot be achieved as well. Thus the best way to find Your 'Perfect' ski is through demoing and going to more major demos throughout the season.