SeizedCordedThanks for the responses.
Unfortunately, my local ski shop doesn't carry any AT gear, except for maybe the Cochise. I'll go in and at least try those on, but I'll likely have to get them online so I thought it would be a good idea to gather a few opinions on the matter before going back in.
I've listed a few boots that I've seen on sale and/or have come with recommendations from various sources. I guess I would consider myself an expert snowboarder but I'd say I'm at an intermediate level for skiing at this point. Seems like that would put me at around a 90 flex so will these boots that are 100, 110, 120 flex going to be way too much? Again, I'll go to my local shop before pulling the trigger on something.
Scarpa Freedom SL 120
Solomon QST Pro 120
Solomon MTN Explore 110
K2 Pinnacle 110
Fischer TransAlp 100-110?
Scarpa F1 95?
Technica Cochise 90
Atomic Waymaker Tour 90
Matching flex with ability level is the wrong way to go about it- your ski boot has no idea your skier level, it just knows the forces acting upon it. So your weight, your strength, ankle range of motion count for way more than your ability level.
As it has been said, the ultimate one will be the one that fits you- not what works or doesn't work for someone else. The good news is there are tons of fit options out there now in this category, and as you will see it will only be growing. If you buy randomly based on other people's feedback, you will have a very, very low success rate of finding the right boot for your needs. The downside of this is that you will need to try them on (ideally under the guidance of someone who knows what to look for) in order to be sure you get the right boot.
As you can tell from your initial searches, this stuff ain't cheap. So don't make the mistake of buying the wrong option as you'll regret it in your wallet and on your feet. If it comes down to it, try to buy something at your destination mountain where you can try it on if your local shop doesn't have options for you.