It seems there are no wide-ranging tests/reviews out there, perhaps that's part of the problem. There are typically only reviews from customers which usually amount to "Great tire!" and a waste of my mouse clicks, or "reputable" sites that review only a couple tires, and never several head-to-head.
I don't understand why some big site doesn't just take the 10 most popular out there, run a battery of consistent tests over a few days in a stinking cold and consistent location, and publish. EVERYONE would visit their site to read, and if they sold tires then many would buy from them too. Seriously, how tough is that? Doesn't seem terribly complicated unless some tire companies are greasing the wheels, so to speak, to ensure their tire gets an optimal rating against only 1 competitor. Wouldn't surprise me if that were the case.
You haven't spent any time Googling? There are a number of independent test sites out there. For a start, look at the tire test results on TireRack.com (not the consumer ratings, but the actual track and real world snow & ice tests conducted by tire rack). I take consumer ratings with a 'cup' of salt, but the tests conducted by TireRack (and some Euro sites) are excellent.