Tobe, opinions are like @$$holes, we all have one. Here's mine.
A question to ask is, "Are they worth the weight, expense, and training?" Tons of options exist for what you're talking about. Your boots would be attached via what's called a 'mountain binding.' This is a binding for crampon compatible boots to fit to ski bindings, with a popular brand being Silvretta. Sounds like you just want something that will help you float a bit on the way up and down to not get bogged down in snow. Sounds like what you may want would be referred to as a cross country touring set-up. These are skis that are made to be light, yet they have either a 3/4 metal edge or a full edge for some turning, and you can buy skins for them. For better turning you would want an alpine set-up, with a locked down heel. These would be heavier, but are what many mountaineers choose, so they get some sense of control on the downhill turns. Either way, you'll want to practice skiing prior to your outings. buy a lift pass for a day or two to practice going down (the up is easy). Free-heel or alpine technique videos or lessons will help a ton. Without some practice, they can actually slow you down, or cause you injury in terrain you can't ski...which goes back to the original question of "are they worth it?"
Eventually I'd advise getting good at skiing and just using an AT set-up for most mountaineering adventures. Meantime this can get you started:
Silvrettas: http://www.wildsnow.com/backcountry-ski ... untry.html
Some contraption: http://www.wildsnow.com/929/want-to-ski ... be-ticket/
One of the ski options (you could find used?):http://www.orscrosscountryskisdirect.co ... -skis.html