After exhaustive analysis my top picks were BS Serenity Plus followed by these Conti DWS. I was replacing an older Serenity model that was very good other than winter when they were quite dangerous. In fact they were so poor I felt it fradulent of BS to market them as all season so I was reluctant to buy BS again. The new BS has 50% longer tread warranty than the Conti however so I kept it in play. Initial costs were important for me and after tons of shopping and negotiating I was able to get the Contis for $200 less than the BS and chose them. In the long term the extra cost of BS may be a good value if they perform in winter - the big question.
I expected a rougher ride with the DWS since it is an UHP tire but I am happy to report the ride quality is very good. My car with AWD always cornered well but these take it to a new level - quite impressive. Compared to BS however there is more play in steering - the opposite of what I would expect from UHP vs. Grand Touring.
No problems with balancing. Finally the DWS just look cool on my car. I have no doubt they will be excellent in winter and will write back if experience is otherwise.
All of the advice I received from Tire Rack proved to be accurate and I really enjoyed shopping their site and speaking with their reps. This is a great business model. They will be my first resource for future purchases.