Agree 100% on the dedicated winter tires.
A 2000 Corolla I sold a few months ago came with a set of studded snows, Hancook's I think. So I bought a set of steel wheels from someone on CL and had them mounted. Then I stored the spare set, summer or winter, in the rafters in my garage. It was a light enough car that I could lift one side at a time with a floor jack, set a couple stands, and swap all four wheels in about 30 minutes. The Corolla was just a "spare" car, but with the snow tires that little sucker could dig it's way through some drifts. Some early and late season storms it was the only thing besides my 4x4 truck that could get out to the highway.
With two of the Vibes, my daughter's 04 and my 08, I let the tire dealer store the tires. Costs more, $15 to unmount/mount, so about $120/yr each car, to have the second set mounted but I was pretty much over climbing a ladder and getting down / putting up mounted tires twice a year. The 04 has Cooper Weather Master 2's and the 08 has Firestone Winterforce. Most days I just drive my 05 with Cooper CS3's. All of these tires are 205/60/16.
'04 Base Frosty, '08 Base Stealth, '05 Base Satellite