We'll start out talking about tires.
I have to admit that I unfairly maligned these Falken FK-452's based on price tag alone. While they're not as good as the Pilot Sports that were on the car when I got it, they seem to perform as well (thus far, at least) as the Pilot Sport A/S's that I liked so much, at least in the dry. We'll see how they do rain when I get a chance to drive in some. They have it in the acceleration department all over the Conti Sports they replaced; with the new tires it takes serious effort to get so much as a flicker from the traction control light, while the Contis had it flickering like a strobe under even moderately heavy acceleration. Departure characteristics are much more benign as well. The Conti Sports were greasily queasy at the limits of adhesion on a cloverleaf, while the new tires almost politely tap you on the shoulder and say "This is all there is, kid, are you sure you want to be doing this?" The compound is soft, yes, but should provide more life than the Pilot Sports. (There's no such thing as a free lunch in the dry traction department; it always surprises me when folks buy tires that wear like Rug-Rite carpet and then bitch because the family bus goes into lurid, howling slides cornering at three MPH in the Kroger parking lot.) Incidentally, the salesguy was talking through his hat about them being run-flats. While they are indeed stiffer of sidewall than most tires I've used, they're no more run-flat than the Goodyear Blimp.
This does, however, have another blog tie-in.
Some interesting commentary was triggered by my initial whine-fest about NTB. For starters, there was a lot of well-meaning advice about speed ratings and cheap tires and so forth. It wasn't needed, really, but the posters couldn't have known that, since I've never sat around and nattered about tires here before. Oddly, a couple of the same posters also took umbrage at my description of being condescended to because of my gender, one regular poster going so far as to label it misandry. You can't have it both ways. Think about it: If a guy had a blog where he constantly went on about his sports cars and motorcycles, would you try and explain the difference between H, V, and Z speed ratings to him, or would you assume that he already possessed that information?