The road noise on studded tires is worst at slow speeds such as in parking lots, otherwise its not too bad. The best cheap snow tire are the firestone winterforce, and the "best" are the hakkas. either can be studded. A good nonstudded tire is the blizzak. You can use any 5x100 16"+ subaru wheel (just about everything aside from sti, tribeca and svx) and you want an offset around +48. I loved my studded winterforce tires in rochester, not the best handling or anything, but absolutely amazing grip, I never had a problem except in fresh deep snow when offroading. I actually had to pull some of my buddies out of the snow in their jeep wranglers on 33"+ offroad tires.
04xt/4eat, 16g, STI bits and bobs