Here is a great detailed comparison of winter performance vs studless ice and snow tires: Tire Rack - Choosing Between Performance Winter and Studless Ice and Snow Winter Tires - YouTube

After seeing this review I am probably going with winter performance tires. In western ny we get a lot of snow, but there are also a lot of days without snow as well. For my commute, only on days with storms are the roads bad. Once the storm is over the roads are plowed and cleared pretty well.