Should you buy or rent ski equipment?
Most skiers are better off renting equipment. Skis are not designed for heavy usage over many years. In fact, most skis will last for only twenty weeks or so of use. Skiers who hit the slopes for 60 days or more a year may need to replace their skis as often as every other year, depending on their level of ability. There are several arguments against buying. For example, technology is constantly changing. Modern skis are designed much differently than skis sold a decade ago, as they are now wider and shorter than what was in vogue back then. Another advantage to renting, is that you can try different skis during your holiday, which you might consider as your ability improves. Lastly, you will avoid having to lug the equipment around during your travels.
Typically, "demo" packages offer the top-of-the-line, high performance equipment. It may cost a bit more, but will be a better option for intermediate and expert skiers. Beginner skiers (and even intermediates) can opt for the less expensive "sport" packages. These are usually shaped skis that are more effective at slower speeds and on easier terrain. Arrange for your rentals in advance, if possible.
The two pieces of equipment that may be worth buying are helmets and ski boots. Wearing a helmet while skiing is of utmost importance, of course. They are not very expensive to purchase and ski equipment rental facilities are sometimes in short supply. Ski boots are a worthy investment as they have a longer life span than skis. If you plan to ski often, boots that are purchased can be fitted properly and hence provide more comfort.