I have a square set-up of PA2s in 245/40-18 on their 4th winter. You've hit the nail on the head describing their behavior. They are more a cold weather tire than a heavy snow/ice tire. Mine spent two winters in Minnesota (dry and very cold) where I think they were perfect. Then I used them near Syracuse NY for a winter. Snow is extra heavy, and I still liked them.
Bottom line is they are excellent tires for 95% of the time you'll be using them. They work good enough in heavy snow (you have to use a light foot) and if you want ice traction, you'll have to go to a different tire and give up the quiet smooth ride and excellent dry handling.