I think the Nokians are the best - period. I personally use Toyo Observe X-10 winter tires. They are excellent as well and much cheaper than the Nokians (though slightly more $ than the Alpins). I've also used everything from the Canadian Tire brand snow tires to Michelin Alpins to Blizzaks. The Nokians lasted a long time and kept their gripping ability over several seasons worth of driving. I found that both the Alpins and the Blizzaks were great at first but after a couple of seasons quickly lost their performance.
The Toyos have been great. I'm on my third season with them and they're still gripping very well. They're at about 50% tread but still performing, although this will be their last season. If I can afford Nokians I'd use them, if not it will be another pair of Toyos.
P.S. I live in Canada and frequently travel 500 Km+ a week on county roads which dish out everything from black ice to powder snow to packed snow to blowing snow, etc. I quickly learned that a set of good snow tires is a MUST for my 300E. It is simply not safe to drive on all-season tires in the winter with these cars, especially since tire technology has come such a long way.
2007 E550 4Matic - 61,000 Km - Iridium Silver, black leather, Sport package, Premium 2 package
2007 GL450 4Matic - 62,000 Km - Obsidian Black Metallic, black leather, all options
1998 E430 - sold
1989 300E - 333,000 Km - sold
1977 280E - sold
1971 250 - retired
"And a frign hat. They gave me a hat at the annual benefits meeting. I said. how does this benefit me. I dont have anything from the company.. So they gave me a hat." - TheDon