I can't find actual ratings anywhere, and since even the tech guy says he doesn't know, I guess it's a closely held secret or something. But Carhartt stuff is pretty nice, and I'm sure it'll hold up fine on average days. If you're planning on going even if it's nasty, then it's worth the investment for 'real' stuff.
As far as brands,people say this brand or that brand is looser/tighter but I've found it changes from item to item. 3 different medium Burton jackets will fit me in 3 different ways. One general rule of thumb is that it's wicked neon and 'steezy' it's also probably baggy. Not much help I know, but the best thing is to go try a few on, everyone's different.
And a gaper is basically a once or few times a year skier/snowboarder, or just a tourist, basically. (Or a ridiculous park rat wearing super baggy clothes and a basketball jersey...anyone that annoys the locals, really) Not necessarily an insult, but people do treat you different.