Boots should be 1st purchase.
Ski boots should always be a skiers first purchase. Boots give the greatest return on investment of all ski gear. Without a properly fitting pair of ski boots, a skiers balance, stamina, power, performance, and comfort are all seriously diminished. Do not waste time buying ski boots on the Internet, not even from Southern Ski. Ski boots should only be purchased from a Master Bootfitter. Without their valuable expertise, you will struggle get the fit you need.
Snow Ski's should be 2nd purchase.
Ski selection should never be based on what a best friend said was the best. Sure, you can take their advice in to account, but a snow ski that performs really well for one skier, will not necessarily perform well for another. Demo a couple different models and brands of skis to find the one that makes you a better skier.