Michellin x-ice 2's are great for winter/spring driving mainly highway based.... I run these on my Compass....Tread is great for ice, average snow and hardpack, slush etc.... but just ok for deep deep snow (never failed to get to the slopes on a powder day though!).
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70's..... I run these on my daily commuter Ford Focus to/from Calgary.... Tread is more aggressive and a little bit more of a harsh ride than the Michellins, but snow performance is much better, they feel solid. Ice performance is good, but not as good as the Michellins.
I've yet to feel like i'm not in control on either tire.... This is in the mixed Albertan winter.... -40c to +10c, snow, rain, ice, slop, slush, sun.... you name it we get it in winter! (This year was particularly deep!)
Coopers are well regarded too.... I have a couple of Alaskan friends who run these and swear by them.....