The specs for the Milestar tires are just as good (if not better) then the specs for the $150 each tires I found elsewhere, so if you just want to shell out more dough for tires, be my guest. The specs are based off industry standard definitions that ALL tire manufacturers must follow or face recalls and/or lawsuits - anyone remember the Firestone 500 fiasco of the late 70's? Anyone remember the Ford Explorer tire issue - and those tires were Firestone ATX, ATX II, and Wilderness AT tires. Name brands DO NOT = superior. Superior marketing maybe.You know, what worries me about "cheap tire" discussions is the fact that you're taking a car with already poor brakes (by today's standards) and adding in lousy tires. You might find that in the long run you're spending a lot more on a cheap tire, when you throw in the accident that leaves you in your hospital and your car in the crusher. Just sayin'. Sometimes you save more by spending more.
I myself have 4 Nankang CX668 tires on my 1995 Dodge Neon, and after 33K miles over 3 years, they STILL look almost new! I may have to replace two of them next year (after I rotate them, I may not). Nankang and Milestar are both subsidiaries of Tireco. BTW, I just bought 4 Milestar MS75's tires (175/80R13's) from selecttire.com for $254.44 shipped! Now that is a price I can live with!
As for poor brakes, if you don't keep them up, no tire on the planet will help you there. I had the same set of brakes on my 1967 Dodge Dart, and never once did I have a problem stopping it, and neither did my brother before that - and he lived in the DC metro area for 2 years with it! And in my case, there were several times that I bought pull offs and used tires because I could not afford new ones, and still did not have problems.