This is my favorite ski area located at one of my favorite places anywhere. Low key, sincere, rustic - this is the polar opposite of a ski "resort". I've been to Beaver Creek where they have escalators (!) to take you up to the lifts. That's pretty cool, but to me, Wildcat, is what skiing's all about. The terrain is wonderfully varied. The trails are fun and challenging, without being life threatening. The people are warm and friendly. The views are breathtaking. The prices are reasonable. I mark Wildcat down for family friendliness only because this is no Smugglers or Bretton Woods, or even Pat's Peak, which all do a great job of catering to families.
The mountain can be intimidating to beginners or the uninitiated (I vividly recall skiing there on an Easter Sunday in the early 80's when it was so icy we didn't scrape, we clattered down the mountain - I learned a lot that day). Also, it is a hoof from my home base in Mass, but that just keeps the crowds down. The lack of on mountain lodging is problematic for many, but that's part of the charm to me. There are places to stay (not going to say where...), but the effort just to get there sort of weeds out the deadwood.