I have Michellin Pilots A/S. With AWD getting up snowy hills hasn't been a problem, especially if you put the diff in LOCK. Although LOCK seems most effective when you need straight line only traction, if there are turns involved the car behaved much better in AUTO (snow covered roads). One short hill I have to go up that is rather steep and straight was no problem in LOCK. I feel the way you do about snow tires. Most of the winter you are driving around on plowed, dry roads and I still wanted a somewhat performance oriented tire. If I had RWD or FWD I would go with snows though, but mainly because of the hills I have to travel on sometimes. The only downside to the UHP A/S tires is that when cornering or braking on a downhill you will have much less traction then a snow tire. You really have to keep that in mind and go slow around those corners, and avoid steep downhills if possible when the snow is fresh. When the summer comes I will get summer tires again, and either buy a set of stock wheels off of someone or get an aftermarket set, I'm not sure yet. Ideally I think for New England you should have 3 sets of wheels and tires. Summer tires for summer. Ultra High Performance All Seasons for late fall and early spring. Winter tires for the dead of winter.