I have used snowshoes a bit myself, climbed Gorgonio and San Jacinto, etc. I would say you don't want the cheap ones with buckle straps but instead you should spend more, make sure they have the easy clamping-in type of bindings. As Rob said, Atlas is a good brand. Also Tubbs. And always ALWAYS ALWAYS wear gaitors whenever you are in the snow to keep your feet dry: the knee-high ones. (Say, "Yes, Mother!") OR makes some--you can buy them through Campmor catalogue, for example. Cold, wet feet will spoil your day quicker than anything. If your boots may not be totally waterproof, try treating them with Sno-Seal goop or Camp Dry spray.
I bought a cheap $60 pair of snowshoes last winter and never used them after taking one look at the bindings, which are cheap plastic, with buckles. I prefer cross country skiing, but of course in some areas skiing is less practical. I kept the snowshoes, thinking I would use them to dayhike with a friend who doesn't ski. I still might...
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.