I skied today as well. Things have been pretty good in the Northwest and about to get better. We did the opposite, though, and talked about gear most of the time. We saw some folks using Voile gear, and I personally was jealous. Then again, I'm not sure if it would have worked with my BC boots. Everyone else had A. T. or Telemark gear, but I was trying to manage Alpina Lite Terrain with my Alpina 2050 boots. There is nothing wrong with the boots, but those skis just weren't right for all of the deep snow. I love this combination in the Spring, but conditions like these (and my guess is you folks in Montana are about to experience similar conditions) call for lighter, fatter skis. The problem, of course, is that it is difficult to manage big fat skis with BC boots. Which leads me to either use different boots (which might hurt my feet) or to avoid the really steep stuff. I did some of that today, but it seemed silly. If I'm going to traverse my way down a mountain, I would much rather just use regular cross country gear. A pair of Inbound Crowns is really light (as light as a lot of really expensive A. T. gear) but really flimsy. But unless I step up a couple notches (to Randonee/Telemark gear) I can't manage steep hills in deep snow anyway.
But enough about that. I would really like to see a few graphs showing various pieces of winter gear. I would start with boots and bindings. On the left you would have weight. On the bottom of the graph would be control. I wouldn't try and figure out the particulars of each piece of gear, but just lump them by type. So, left to right you would have plain cross country boots, then BC, then three pin, then Randonee/Telemark. My guess is that you would have a graph that gradually moves up as you went to the right, but then flared on you hit the A. T. stuff. In other words, cross country gear is light, BC gear is a heavier, and A. T. gear ranges from being heavier than BC, to being as light as some of the cross country gear (which makes it lighter than all of the BC gear). With bindings I think you would find the same thing. Both of these graphs would be fairly straightforward to make (I think).
Comparing skis gets really complicated, unfortunately. To begin with, generally speaking, there is no specific "type" of ski (as mentioned earlier). With few exceptions, you can mount any binding on any ski. So one of the problems is trying to define how appropriate a ski is for the conditions. This adds to the number of data points. You could add camber, metal edge, turning radius, surface area and rocker. I'm sure it could be done, and it would lead similar results. The cross country gear (even the cheap stuff) is light, but is difficult to use in many conditions (steep slopes on deep snow). The more surface area a ski has, the heavier it is, although there are some high-end skis with really low weight and plenty of surface area. I think graphs like these would make it easier to understand the options available. But then again, I just like cool graphs.