......... snip .......... Rears are fine and the fronts still have some wear left in them although the wet grip is just beginning to fade away as the tread gets shallow. ........ snip ..........
Your comment, along with some other posts, has me wondering. I'm an American (living in Italy) and I've been driving for a long time. I rotate my tires in such a way that they wear out at about the same time. Therefore, I always buy four new tires when the time comes. I don't recall ever purchasing just two. In fact, if you buy a set of tires at a major dealer in America, they very often include free rotation for the life of the tires. You just return every 10,000 miles or so, and they do the rotation for free in a few minutes and sometimes re-balance them too.
However, this (mostly U.K. based) forum is loaded with posts about wearing out and then replacing only two tires. And judging from your post, you might be doing just that before too long.
Apparently, that's not unusual in the U.K. and neither is having different brands on the front and rear.
I'm curious. Why wouldn't you move your better rear tires to the front? It's the fronts which do all the work and, especially when it's wet, you want all the breaking performance you can get. It seems to me that having the best tires on the front would be a good idea especially when every car comes equipped with the necessary tools.
Am I missing something? Is it a difference in culture, laws, or is there perhaps a financial reason I don't understand?