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First, see my most recent post in the "Tire Choice - Being Practical" thread. Specifically, the attached "pdf" file with the tire data. I was playing with the data in Excel, simply arranging the columns in ascending and decending order. For whatever the worth of the Tire Rack data...

Arranged with the tires expected to wear the longest on top, one of the more inexpensive tires (a Continental product) is at the top of the list. And it's a "Z" rated tire, to boot. Mid-range priced at $154.

In fourth position is a Sumitomo tire. Very high mileage ratings and it's the least expensive tire at Tire Rack in this size (245/40 x 18). It's "W" rated.

I guess not as surprising, the most expensive tire (Yokohama A028) is "Z" rated and has the lowest mileage expectancy.
 

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FWIW (not much, probably), I did a little playing around with the stats on tires at TireRack and decided that, for my lifestyle/driving/situation/etc, the top three contenders - head and shoulders about the rest and very tightly bunched - are the PZero-Nero M&S, the BFG KDW2 and the Eagle F1 GS-D3. When I dropped price from my calculation, those three stayed alone at the top and became numerically equal (using some extremely crude elimination & weighting system that I devised on the fly and couldn't reproduce if I had to!) As I said, FWIW, YMMV, IMHO, BR-549, etc., etc...
 
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