definitely buy womens boots! Our calves are shorter and a mens boot is going to sit too far up your leg
I've heard this before and I'm not sure where it came from because it doesn't seem to be true, at least not in my case.
Most of the high end race boots are unisex, and the more aggressive a boot you get the taller the cuff. I recently switched from the Nordica Dobermann WC EDT 100 to the 130 flex version, and it was partly because I wanted the taller cuff. The higher cuff gives me more support and more boot to lean into, better leverage in general (which is particularly good for managing longer pow skis). I haven't ever had issues with calf pain.
Before you dismiss race boots because you aren't a racer, keep in mind that a lot of pros ski race boots in the park, people like Simon Dumont and others. It all comes back to what I was saying about the best boot is the one that fits your foot. If you have a narrow foot a tight fitting race boot can be the best choice (they are also designed with thicker plastics and modifications in mind).
Keep two things in mind when you do go buy boots. 1. A bootfitter can punch and grind a boot to make it bigger, but can't ever make it smaller. 2. You can soften the flex of your boot by removing the rear bolts or adding a V-cut, but you can't make a soft boot stiffer.
I agree that Full Tilt's are overrated.