yeah tire rack isnt' always the best price. It's wise to do comparison shopping. Ben gives good advice in terms of product and techincal information.
In my old car's forum, we also had a Tire Rack rep. While he didn't cut us deals, he did notify us when certain models of tires were going on sale or clearance
. And THAT was invaluable information. I was able to pick up tires on 50% discounts. And I'm talking about notifications for OEM sizes and common aftermarket wheel sizes. So 100% relevant information.
Unfortunatedly Ben doesn't notify us of deals as often (I don't recall at all actually, but I don't check the tires subthread often) as my old forum contact
So you have to do all the leg work on the Tire Rack side of when stuff goes on sale.