Despite skiing for 27 years, I can honestly say I've never owned a true ski jacket. Granted, as a kid, I generally got hand me downs. Even with a few 100+ day seasons right after college, I also belonged to the layering is better mentality, and would but four sometimes five layers under a short softshell, and never often got cold around the waist, where layers would not overlap.
With this coat, I need made a thin poly-pro layer and thin fleece and good to go. Recently it handled 15 degree, windy weather no problem, not cold at all. In fact, I got rid of a layer mid-morning.
Removable hood is great, as I rarely use one. The only time I'd have a hood would be in the rain, but I'd probably be wearing another jacket. Plenty of pockets, including an internal zippered pocket that is great for point and shoot camera/ipod/phone.
My only complaint would be the cuffs. The arms are fairly baggy, but the cuff is tight. I like to have my jacket over gloves, but this makes it difficult to with this jacket.
For those fashionable conscious (I'm not, but my wife suggested) the espresso goes better with tan pants. Of course, non of my ski pants were tan, so I had to to get a new pair.
Plus, cheers to backcountry staff (as always) for helping me decide and handling an issue with later seeing this jacket on steep and cheap