from TGRs "how to use tech talk effectively" sticky:
"2. asking for blanket statements is not good. ask to compare/contrast models. in general, people offering their opinion are not helpful, but people contrasting models attributes are much more helpful."
I see where you are coming from, and think reviews are great. But once you have it narrowed down to 2 or 3 skis, the descriptions are all going to sound the same because of how similar the skis are. "slays pow" "stiff as ron jeremy on viagra" blah blah blah.
When looking for a pair of sticks, dude should read every review on the website FIRST...then ask for a comparison. This way, if somebody on NS has skied both sticks, they can tell you what little nuances that make the 'Ski A' stand out against 'Ski B.'