I would examine some other brands, such as Burton, Ride, K2, Lib-Tech, NeverSummer, GNU, and Arbor (among countless others). The ones I listed are at least respectable companies, offering many products throughout the spectrum of experience (and price). No specific comment on Sims or Nitro as I have not tried either of them.
Also, forget the idea about beginner boards, while it's true that you don't want to go out and buy a $750 area specific board for your first stick it also holds true that you don't want to pay $150 or $200 for the sake of getting a new "beginner" board. Look at last year's models and you can find good boards for almost the same prices (Ride Controls, for example, cash in at a cool $190-200).
When checking through some of the websites, I'd mainly look at "All Mountain Boards" (A.T.L.A.S. series for K2 and possibly a different name for others). They're boards that are designed to do pretty much everything, although they will be more stable than a park board and more comfortable at higher speeds and worse conditions (as a general rule of thumb and not a law).