The Blizzaks and the Hakka 5 were on Toyota Tacoma 4x4s, the Hakka RSi were on a Volvo V50 and the new XC60 came with the Gislaved tires. Friends had Nokian WR all seasons on their minivan but have changed to straight winter tires after they wore out. They were better than regular all seasons but not as good as true winter tires.
The biggest difference I find with the winter tires is starting and stopping at intersections. The light goes green and away you go. I hardly use 4x4 in the truck unless it is really bad out. Better control on the highway and in deep snow as well.
One problem ... you can stop but the idiot on bald summer tires behind you may not be able to. Last week I had someone slide right past me in the next lane and halfway through the intersection. I hadn't realized that it was even slippery out...always watch your 6 and leave plenty of space in front of you to get out of the way.
We have both sets on extra rims and I mount on the car myself in about 30 minutes. Saves $100 twice a year and there is no waiting in line. Most places are booking 4 weeks out here in Calgary or you have to line up at Costco at 4am...