I'm happy enough with my Wintersport 3Ds (staggered on OEM 18s, 10mm narrower than OEM summer spec). I haven't had to use snow tires before, but I'm glad I had them yesterday.
I had a 120 mile drive that took almost 5 hours. I saw a bunch of cars disabled on the road, including many that sped past me. AWD doesn't mean you can't still skid off the road, Audi Q5 driver.
It wasn't a pleasant drive by any means, but my car handled just fine. I was curious to see where the traction limit was, but I didn't want to find out and end up like those other cars.
As far as dry conditions go, winter tires certainly are very different from summer tires. I was surprised at how differently the car handled.