What's up Pat welcome to the forum... Regarding your dilemma, you should tell us your stats: weight, height, shoe size, type of riding (freeide, freestyle), and rider abiity. Then someone here will definitely help you out a lot.
If the guy at your local board shop is telling you the board is not "tall enough" for you, then he doesn't know crap. Board size is most importantly determined by weight. Also, you can mount Burton bindings on non-Burton boards. You just need a conversion base plate.
I never ridden an Atomic board, but I hear they're solid. A number of members on the forum are big Atomic fans. Which Atomic board is it?
Where in South Jersey you from? I'm sure there are other shops you can go to.