I hear you on the student thing. The reason I am driving so much back and forth in the mountains is because I am now back in school full time working on my second degree.Thanks for the replies so far. The Michelin AT2's that I'm seeing around are 10ply LT tires so not exactly thin or car duty tires. As much as I'd like to run KO2's, ST Maxx or Duratrac's, they are significantly more expensive (2.5-3x the cost of the michelins in my case) and probably get old on the highway after a couple hours. The Cooper AT3's which I'd like to buy are $400-500 more than the pricing I'm seeing on the Michelins. I honestly think that most guys don't run the Michelins because they are boring and don't 'look' the part, not because they don't hold up but I was hoping there'd be a few out there who had tried them out. I guess I might have to be that guy.... I'm not too fussed about snow performance as I run dedicated snow's in the winter but I think your assessment of AT3's improved snow performance will be correct there cdthiker.
Being a student sure makes stuff like this difficult, regular paychecks and this decision would be easy!! AT3 would probably be about perfect for what I want to do over the next 2-3 years.