For the price you really can't get a better set of tires. Two full winters on these and I am impressed to say the least. We get a fair bit of snow here in Calgary, nothing like the east coast, but enough that I can comfortably say these are great snow tires. When the city is socked it with snow, I have no problem getting to work. They work great on ice too, I use to slide down a hill near my house when it would ice and I had all season's on, now I have traction and feel much more comfortable behind the wheel.
I also find them great of the highway. I rip up to Banff and Golden for skiing all the time and I am always impressed at the handling on the highway and on the steep snowy roads climbing the mountains. They do produce a fair bit of road noise so I have to crank the stereo some more.
I am surprised at some of the negative reviews. Perhaps these people are either bad drivers or have crappy cars?
I am a 'spirited' late 20s driver, cautious but also aggressive when I need to be. These tires fit the bill for safety in the winter. There are better tires out there, but if you are looking for something affordable, I highly recommend the General Altimax Arctic.