$50 for 16" steelies isn't too bad, no matter where you found them.
As for tires, there are two main categories for winter tires: Studless Ice/Snow and Performance Winter. The SIS tires are your run-of-the-mill winter tires, with the softer compound and the tread to get you through the REAL deep stuff. Of course, compared to all-season or summer tires, they tend to get noisy on dry pavement, and can start to feel "sloppy" in warmer weather. PW tires give up a slight amount of EXTREME winter traction for a harder compound and different tread, to stay more stable and give you better handling on warmer, dry days, while still being able to climb through just about any type of snow/sleet/slush you may run into.
If you value the simple idea of getting through the snow and aren't too worried about handling/ride, go with the SIS tires. If you still want to have a little more fun on dry days, and be able to march confidently down a snowy highway or parking lot, you may prefer PW.
In case you haven't seen my location, we get a fair share of snow/sleet/ice around here, with some instances of snow being measured in 4-8 inches fallen PER HOUR. For me, I usually use a set of PW tires on my 6, and a set of SIS tires on my Altima (my wife's DD).
As for brands, Continental, Dunlop, and Michelin have some decent winter tires for a good price. I had a set of Dunlop WinterSport M3s for my previous 6, and I plan on getting another set (or it's replacement, the WinterSport 3Ds) next month for the upcoming season. My current M3s have two seasons on them, and they've barely lost any tread, and can still track through deep snow without a problem (I need a new set for the different size my '10 6 requires). IMO they're excellent PW tires. The Altima has a set of Dunlop Graspic DS-2s that have three seasons on them (about 35K miles), and although they could go another season, I'm replacing them with the Graspic DS-3s that have been recently introduced. I've also owned Michelins and Continentals with excellent results, while a co-worker uses Pirellis and has been happy with them as well.
IMO, I'd stay away from the Bridgestone Blizzaks, since I've found they are indeed very sticky in the snow, but the compound changes after they're about 40% worn, and the layers underneath aren't that great in the deeper snow. I've found I can get another 2-3 seasons out of other brands before I lose confidence in their winter traction, unlike the Blizzaks.
Either way, getting winter tires is a HUGE benefit over any all-season tires in the snow, even with AWD.
Good luck with whatever you decide.