That's fine, but if you're new I still feel that actually going into a shop and actually touching a board, bindings, and of course boots it is helpful.
Or he could do a combination of the two. Advice here, narrow down the list, and then go and molest said options in the shop.
And if you are just using the shop to molest their products, at least walk away with something from them. I admit, I've done this many times for electronics, but I always give my business in some other fashion.
Example: I want to handle computer mice before buying online. I go to Best Buy (big corpo, I know) to handle the mouse, then pick up an ink cartridge for my printer and go home to order mouse.
I'd feel less guilty if it was some over-saturated big box "snowboard shop" like Sports Authority though
As for Burton products, they have many great gear. They also have a lot of so-so products. The reason being that they have gear for every single level of rider and anything in between. They also have the biggest market share in snowboarding so of course you're going to hear more stories of defects out of them. That does not necessarily mean that their products are inferior as their defect ratio
is probably smaller than a lot of companies.
While I won't argue their products run at a price premium for anything above entry level, it only applies to current year products. After discounts, we're talking differences of like $20.
The shop kid you spoke for does sound like a fan. There are tons of "I need everything Burton" riders out there. Some new, some really great riders. Don't mind them. Explore your options. You might find yourself actually liking a Burton board and K2 bindings or some type of similar combination. Mix and match bro.
What's your stats?
Are you a brand new snowboarder? Or are you just a beginner that has already seen some snow time looking for your own setup now? Have you already figured out what you want to focus on? E.g., park (jib or jumps?), all-mountain, etc..