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Advice on new skates

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So I've been rocking my Bauer Pro skates for about 5 years now.  They were great up until late last year.  Now my feet hurt quite a bit when I wear them.  I've tried Superfeet and having them re-baked.  I'm getting bone growth on the front of my ankles (probably from lace bite).  Partly it has to do with my being about 40 lbs heavier than when I bought them, but I am so uncomfortable in them it is really affecting how I play.

I currently have Bauer One80 pads (though I'm thinking of changing them too) with no toe ties.  I'm looking at going to some newer skates that have the loop on the back of the boot.  Will some sort of toe tie be a necessity with using that loop or should I be okay?  I would try it without first and go from there.  I used to wear Toe Hook, but I found they didn't stretch quite far enough and were giving me knee and hip soreness.

I also have no real preference, but are cowlingless really any different/better than skates with cowlings?  I'm thinking I'd like to try a Graf boot and have my Vertexxx cowlings put on them.  

Long story short, what brand do you prefer and why?  What brand/model do you think would fit my extra wide feet?

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I'm in the same boat as you with wide feet (4E) and I've never found a skate that is a super comfortable fit.  I've had my 1S skates baked twice and punched out and still am not 100% comfy in them.  So  I ended up biting the bullet and ordering True 2 piece skates.   Unfortunately they were sent to the wrong store (not True's fault, the store I work for had them shipped to our corporate office and shipped them on from there, but put them on the wrong pallet) so I don't have them quite yet.   I ordered 8/26 and got the notification from True that my skates were being shipped out on 9/11, so the turnaround was amazingly quick!  I'm hoping all the stories I've heard about fit/comfort are true and based on what I'm hearing from several customers who received their skates ahead of me I fully expect that they will be.  The fit and finish on the new generation boot is WAY better than it used to be and I'm hoping the improved looks mean  durability has been addressed as well.

If I hadn't gone true my plan was to try a 2E FT2 and have it custom baked to my foot.  I love everything CCM is doing right now.  Their new quick change holder seems way more secure than Bauer's and I love that they're carrying their one piece boot down to the second price point on the FT series.  I've  been a lifelong Bauer guy for my goalie skates, but right now the competition is doing just enough things better than them that I didn't even consider 2X skates.

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