I agree with your points as I have no winter driving experience in the western states. I will add that while some places most likely do have bans on studded tires. My experience has been that the majority incorrectly believe they are illegal in there area. May times co workers in different province here in Canada have stated studs are illegal, after I get them to show me the regulations, they realize that no where in Canada ( this was about 4 winters ago last time we checked) there was not a single provincial level year round ban. Only seasonally ie May to Sept ect. I really suggest if you get packed snow or slick ice regularly, do yourself a favor and get stubs if allowed. Call your local tire shop.