I live in Maryville and there are three shops in the Knoxville area alone with very, very, knowledgeable workers. Alpine Ski Center is located in a shopping center next to West Town Mall (take Kingston Pike towards UT, find Chili's just past the Mall and go in that shopping center). Pluto Sports is located in the shopping center next to Home Depot on Kingston Pike, and The Boardroom is located next to the Calhoun's on Kingston Pike near Cedar Bluff.
The guys at Alpine and The Boardroom are awesome, and would be more than happy to answer any questions. Before you go crazy on research go talk to them.
I ride mainly at Ober, but since it usually opens later in the year I go over to Cataloochee. It's not going to be anywhere near as good as the snow in Oregon that you're probably accustomed to, but it's better than nothing. You can pick up a season pass at Ober through 11/15 for a discount ($250).
As far as your questions about boards, here's a great link to get you started:
I would recommend somewhere around a 155 for you. You could look at something like a Neversummer SL or a Proto to give you a good, rounded, board that can dabble in the park and still ride comfortably on the mountain.
Hope that helps a little...