I've been doing a ton of freeride research too. I've sort of focused on Ride Snowboards. On the forum of their website there's two really detailed hands on reviews of both the Highlife and Berzerker. The latter was created by one of their extreme freeride guys (Jake Blauvelt); his website is sick, based on the videos there, I'm guessing you're not as extreme as him. The posts are based upon 30-40 days worth of boarding on both as sort of a pre-release test earlier this calendar year. Based upon what you say above, I think reading those reviews on that Ride Snowboard forum page would be really helpful. My guess is you'll like the Berzerker.
I too have looked at the Barracuda...and sort of focused back on the Highlife or Berzerker.
Best of Luck
Glad I'm not the only one!
Interesting forum chats in fact on Ride... It seems like we all kind of look for similar stuff. I do like Ride, but I'm not convinced of:
1. No taper
2. They are ultra light, snappy, poppy, chattery boards.
This is where we clash, as I need a super smooth ride, soft and damped. My ideal board will have to be medium-stiff with a good dampening system which absorbs all vibrations, especially when you rock down on fast groomers. With this view when I've tested the Burton T6 I was shocked by the extreme vibrations and chattering, due to the alluminium honeycomb ultra light core, while my Baron ES was quite the opposite.
The channel system seems to be the Burton winner, as you can tune-on-the-go moving your stance back for powder, than forward for groomers, I like the sound of that!
It would be very interesting to hear feedback from PRIOR, ARBOR and the other lot perform on this feature...