well, after I got beat up on the forum, I vote for the shock/struts issue. I just replaced my front struts after 135 K miles, and I probably could have driven another 30,000 miles on the old ones. But, shocks can, and do, go bad (I had a strut go bad on a Celica after 15,000 miles).
As to Michelins (to close up that discussion), I agree, that statistically, they are one of the better tires. However, if I spend 50% more on a tire I want more of an assurance than the fact that they could possibly go slightly longer than the cheaper tire. Michs do not give that assurance. Arguably, its a solid tire. Is it worth double the price of other tires? I say no.
As to the difference in handling, I can always tell the difference between groups of tires like Futura, Cooper, and non-brand vs. Michelins, Dunlops, and Bridgestone. But difference between Michelin and, say, Dunlop?? I think not
Incidentally, in over 20 years of driving I NEVER had to re-balance any tire.
1985 190D 2.2l Sold-to Brother-in-law
1996 Mustang 3.8l -"thinks it's a sports car"
1988 Grand Wagoneer - Sold (good home)
1995 Grand Cherokee Ltd -"What was I thinking??!!"