Yes I do live in the East...and to be fair I don't think I even have a concept of what true powder is lol. I think at best I've had 10cm of fresh snow and considered that an amazing day. I am planning a trip out to Tremblant at some point so I might experience it a bit more then.
I ride in the east as well on a 3 year old 161 SL. And aside from a few great days at Jay Peak, we don't have powder like they do out west. Floatation isn't generally much of an issue here.
That said, I have the SL out west at Kicking Horse and Revelstoke for some serious 70cm deep stuff and once I set the bindings back, it performed pretty well. Not dedicated powder board well, but pretty good for a one quiver board.
That pretty much describes the SL, pretty good at everything, not outstanding at any one thing. And since that describes my riding style, it is a good fit for me.
Better yet, since it seems you made up your mind, try finding it somewhere on the cheap. End of season sales can save you big time and in all honesty, I don't believe there's going to be any groundbreaking design changes that will justify the cost difference. If the place you find it, online or in-store, doesn't have it on sale, ask if they price match.
Hopefully it's not too late though, because as far as I know, the NS SL is their best selling board and I had a hard time finding two months ago when I was looking. Most stores in my local area sell out of the SL in mid to early December!
Yeah I think that the only difference between 2012 and 2013 SL is the topsheet, and imo the 2012 topsheet is better.
Thanks all. I'm currently looking into prices and such...although I am also looking around for reviews to see if anything changes my mind. If all goes well I'll post a newbie review once I get the board.