For the local Boulder/Denver skier, or a visitor with limited time, Eldora offers the best skiing for the price. Not only are lift tickets $40 with a coupon, you save about $40 in gas vs. the I-70 resorts. Main mountain cruisers are long and well-groomed, and the steep gladed terrain is absolutely some of the state's best (I suggest Moose and Placer Glades, Jolly Jug Glades for the more timid). Runs are shorter and lifts are slower, but that's Eldora. The beginner (Little Hawk) area is varied, but runs are short. The ski school is very reasonably priced (compare Eldora's prices to a $600 private at Breck), and excellent unless they're overloaded through the holidays. That being said, there are a couple things to avoid at Eldora:
1) Holiday Weekends - like anywhere, holiday weekends here pretty much suck. Especially if the weather's bad. They are made worse here by slow lifts, small lodges, and in a couple cases this year, unexpected rushes because of I-70 road closures. Eldora is a local mountain - they handle crowds (poorly) about 2 weeks per year.
2) WINDY days - I can't stress this enough...CALL OR GO ONLINE. I do every time. Forecasts for Ned or Boulder mean nothing at Eldora, and a bad day (or a wind closure, even worse) can be avoided by taking about 5 minutes before driving the 22 miles up the canyon.
Despite the poor apres-ski rating in many other reviews, I recommend checking out the nearby town of Nederland. If you're laid back, and have low expectations, you may find yourself having a great time in this town. It's world-renowned for its Bluegrass music scene, and the 1st Street and Pioneer pubs are great places to check it out. If you couldn't find a place to have fun here, you didn't look hard enough.