I don't know whether it is better to dig up an old thread or write a new one on the same topic...so I'm a diggin.
Just got a 10/11 NS Heritage 162 to replace my Lib Tech T.Rice 157 that was too short and got sketchy at high speeds. About me: 5'10" 220 lbs size 10.5 boot, started riding in 1987 but took a LONG hiatus for marriage and kids. Got back on a board last year with my now 9 yr old son and my wife has taken it up too. I like to freeride mostly and hit some jumps...have ventured into the park a couple of times with my son but being 37 and having had back surgery in September so I have to be careful about the slams I take. Our local mountain is really just a bump...vertical sheet of ice here on the east coast.
The OPs comments are really spot on IMO, he made some points that I'm not sure I could have put into words. Here is what I noticed about the Heritage on day one. Softer than the T.Rice by quite a bit at the tips. I'm a bit torn on this, I went 162 because the T.Rice was getting unstable at high speeds and I'm not sure I have corrected that issue but I think there is a bit of a learning curve going from the T.Rice to the Heritage. That said the conditions were less than good yesterday as we have had a lot of freezing rain in the last few days and the lighting was really bad yesterday, couldn't see anything in the terrain and I think due to the dampness of the board I wasn't feeling anything either, so I got tossed around a bit on my first couple of runs. As the day went on I got used to it a bit and really ripped some high speed runs out. For sure the Heritage is faster from edge to edge than the T.Rice...I really liked this fact. I don't ride switch much but I figured I would give it a shot and took several runs switch down our trail all switch and found it easier than the T.Rice, I think this was a combination of the softer flex and the faster edge to edge response.
So in conclusion I like the board a lot, maybe not exactly what I was looking for but I think with a little time to adjust to the flex I could really like it and it will make riding slower with my wife and son a good bit easier than a longer T.Rice would have been.