Thanks for the input guys, specially the detail from WiredSport, though for some reason I didn't get notification of your post. So I read it once I already went ahead with the 158.
Spent last weekend in Austria and can only say the the Machete rips.
I didn't get a chance to try a 160, but I am super happy with the 158.
I rode Burton Cartels with the Machete, and CO2s on the T6.
Below are some differences (Machete vs T6) I noticed:
STABILITY, GRIP, SPEED:
I was initially worried that being used to a T6, the Machete would feel unstable, less grippy, and not allow me to go as fast as I was used to. These were worries I needn't have had.
I was able to ride at least as fast on the Machete as on the T6 - hitting around 90km/55mph with ease. In fact I felt more secure because the Machete didn't seem to catch edges or twitch as easy as the T6. The Machete carves awesomely and put a smile on my face every time, but it didn't seem to be quite as precise as the T6 or hold a line quite as well - not a problem at all though, in fact I prefer the Machete's carving feel.
When standing still, and expecially on steeper parts, the T6 really digs in and holds position. The Machete not as much, but definitely enough, so no worries there.
T6 feels quite a bit more responsive, aggressive, and lively (ride it or it will ride you kind of thing). The lively feeling of the T6 is phenominal, and I kind of missed it. This doesn't mean that the Machete doesn't feel awesome and lively enough, it does, but the Machete was definitely more "relaxed" than the T6. Part of this is probably due to the fact that the Cartel bindings are also less responsive than the CO2s.
The Machete is not as stiff as the T6, but still pretty stiff (maybe 60%-70% as stiff). To lift the nose of the T6 or to do a manual for example, I really had to lean back pretty far on the T6 - looked a bit "strange" actually :-) On the Machete it is much easier, but definitely not a super flexy buttery park board. The Machete seems to have struck a great balance for those wanting a stiff(er) board but still freestyle friendly. As I was used to the ultra stiffness of the T6 I didn't want something to soft. The Machete's stiffness is what I would have been after. If anything it could be a tad softer.
The Machete spins a lot easier than the T6, and feels really nice when taking off lips of kickers, ledges, etc. I found myself having to re-adjust, as I was over-rotating when pulling the first few 3s. Landings felt better on the T6. Maybe it is something I need to get used to, but when landing with the T6, it felt more planted and road straight into position. Landing on the Machete still felt good but in comparison to the T6, a bit "washed-out".
Park was closed, and there was no fresh powpow, so can't comment on that.
At the end of the day, the Machete is an ideal board for those looking to transfer from all-mountain, to freestyle, without losing the all-mountain capabilities. All-mountain freestyle, baby!