Background: All my life I drove FWD (Front Wheel Drive) cars. I drove FWD in different conditions with all-season tires and always got good and even predictable handling during winter periods. In short I would say that over steer is always cured by acceleration and under steer with a bit of braking and/or hand brake. Also never got stuck in snow and I drive manual gearbox.
Dilemma: Now I am thinking about buying RWD (rear wheel drive), however my friends keep telling me that I will have issues during winter. Getting stuck in snow, over steer, additional set of winter tires (requirement) and such. I google the topic and it seems that generally people agree with above mentioned issues.
Note: I do not intend to have RWD car as a weekend/fun drive. It must be a daily drive: go to work, shop and such in any weather conditions at any time. Also I don't have a garage and storage of winter/summer tire set will be an issue. Therefore I would like to be able to drive all-season tires. Also I am looking only at manual transmission if that makes any difference.
1) How troublesome is it to have RWD with above mentioned conditions?
2) What will be safer: RWD vs FWD on dry pavement, gravel, snow, ice?
3) What generally has better handling and traction during bad weather: heavy rain, snow, ice?
4) Is it more expensive to own/maintain/drive RWD (given that RWD seems to always be more expensive vs FWD at a dealership)?
P.S: Please answer all of above questions and feel free to add your own experiences. I would like to get a feel of what it is like to have RWD before I buy it. I really don't want to make purchase and regrade it later.