Volkl looks nice, but i'd prefer something longer then 168.. And it looks like top-level freeride boards, like a-frame-supermodel-raptor etc.. And kessler-oxess looks more exotic to me. that's only my opinion though...
Virus is sweeeet. (any of them). AFAIK
there's vius UFC up to 180cm. that's UFC model. UFC boardercross is wider and for soft boots.
AFT and FLP AFT is a superb choice too.
you're right, we should make, liky you said comfort zone, and choose what board we can get with a discounts. $750 sounds right for me.
I doubt about Donek. Sean makes custom board for customers needs, and i doubt he will make a big discount. bigger manufacturers who makes not-custom board can go fot it.
Amplid max length is 163, that's too small for freeride and carving.