NS is kind of out of my budget though and maybe not as beginner-friendly as the others
I kind of felt this way when I was contemplating buying the Pandora but I wasn't a total beginner anyway (I was doing blue and black runs by the time I got it) so I went for it. It was totally worth the extra money and if I could go back in time and skip buying the beginner board at the start of last season and get the Pandora instead I'd do it every time.
I'm sitting out this season because I'm pregnant and am letting a friend with similar stats use my setup this year. Even though she's just as cautious a rider as I am, she was linking turns by the end of her very first day on the mountain this past weekend. So the board certainly did not seem to be holding her back at all and from talking to her she didn't feel like she was having any more trouble with her board than the others in her beginner lesson.
I think you'll likely catch more edges with a NS than a beginner oriented rocker-profile board. But it's counteracted by how nicely the board handles in crappy conditions.