I don't care about park, but Sugar Bowl is a pretty damned fun mountain. It's no Kirkwood, but it's got similar terrain, just on a much smaller scale.
The fact he mentioned Northstar leads me to guess that greasem0nkey86 is interested in park (there really isn't a reason to go to Northstar otherwise), but I could be wrong.
Sugar Bowl is easier to get to drive-wise than Kirkwood, if that matters. Haven't been to Kirkwood (I'm a driving wimp) although plan to this season.
Since you've never driven to Kirkwood, why are you giving opinions on the drive to Kirkwood?
The drive to Kirkwood is pretty good in my opinion (I prefer it). It is actually shorter by about 20 miles, but offset by the fact that the road gets narrow and windy the last 60 miles (speed limit drops down to 60). Driving time with no traffic is actually about the same as to Sugar Bowl (check it out on Google Maps).
However, the nice thing is that Kirkwood actually uses a different set of roads, which means that it doesn't get as congested as the roads leaving North and South lake meaning the actual driving time is often less. The final potential drawback to Kirkwood is that the drive requires you to take four highways (580E, 5N, 99N, 88E) - so requires a little bit of mental capacity to pay attention (that or a GPS), unlike the drive to North or South Lake Tahoe which is bloody stupid easy (get on 101N... drive 3 hours... done).