Blizzaks work well for us. In the last 5 years we've had the Michelin x-ice 3's, bf goodrich winter slaloms (discontinued), winterforce 1's and ws70, and now ws90 blizzaks. The Michelins were okay but a bit too stiff on the ice. The old firestone winterforces are great for snow and mud but seriously lack for ice. The new firestone Winterforce 2's are alot softer and have wider tread voids but honestly we mostly sell them for trucks. Generals are pretty good but you tend to get alot of tread squirm and they take ALOT of weight to balance. Blizzaks have always been good to great across all categories and don't disappoint. Haven't tried and pirelli or happilata as I cant get another easily if needed but they tend to be winter/sport with the stiffer compounds.
Snows are generally supposed to be replaced at 4/32nds. The newer blizzaks use a "multicell" technology that has tiny pores of varying sizes to help pick up and move water off ice. Seems to work well so far but that "multicell" tech only goes to 5/32nds.
Best of the bunch was the discontinued BFGoodrich winter slaloms. Fracking awesome on both the honda and the minivan. Closest tread design available today would be the winterforce 2's but much like the BFGoodrich units I don't think the firestones would be so great on dry pavement with the larger voids and softer rubber.
When choosing my winter tires blizzaks are the all around best performers. If I think its going to be a snowy year I'll try wider voids. Icy year more tread. But we live in the 8th ring suburbs so,,,? You're needs might be different