Nothing like free beer You are probably right about the better experience because it is far from major cities. However, I just hate going somewhere which takes a day - I am coming from DC so I probably end up wasting at least 16 hours on the road. I guess I am lazy that way. That may be why I have not experienced "true" powder ski yet.
Make it an adventurous roadtrip with a couple friends. You really aren't getting truly great powder, I feel, until you go to a mountain that most people won't take the time to go to (also, if you want really for realsies powder get yourself some snowshoes and pack your board into the backcountry; it can be rough but it's also the best powder you'll ever have in your life and there's nothing like winter trekking to test yourself).
I don't know why, but I guess I'm just a bit prejudiced against the major resorts. I tend to think they're overpriced for what they offer and I can get just as good--sometimes better--boarding at mountains made for locals, or mountains in their early stages. I really like Tamarack in Idaho, which is the newest resort in the US, but have the feeling that if it ever gets to the point of being like a Sun Valley or a Vale, like it's trying to be, that I'm not going to want to go anymore because the quality will have gone down; at least, the kind of quality I'm looking for, which involves cool locals and an ability to not take yourself so seriously.