Last week, I got a pair of Riedell Red Ribbons. They are must first pair of 'real' skates. Although I have only skated in them twice, they feel great! The first day I skated in them my toes were pinched a bit, I suppose it was because the skates were brand new (I had bought them earlier that same day). So I guess my feet weren't used to them, but they were definately more comfortable than the rentals. A few days later, I went skating again and felt fine.
I can't tell about other brands because I have never tried other brands, and I know Red Ribbons aren't suitable for your level, but I hope it helps.
I have skated on Edea for a while now. The first ones I had were really easy to break in, just took me a couple of hours before I could do all my doubles. However, they broke upp just by the lining and I could stick my fingers in and feel the plastic.
Apparently there had been an production-error in the first batch, so they re-did Edea. These were the second pair I got. They were a real pain to break in. Took me a couple of months! They just didn't want to be tight. Real annoying. But after like half a year, I loved them. I haven't gotten any new lumps or cramp anywhere, they are great that way.
I'm getting new ones soon, since I've worn out the last pair.
A word of caution however, Edea might not be that great for too powerful skaters. A friend of mine has broken like 6 pairs, and she isn't very big either, only like 5f2 and pretty skinny. She just has massive power in her jumps. She had hers special made after her 3d pair broke, but it hasn't helped much.
I skate on Phantom Special and it has worked great for me. I do doubles and has started on triples.