Good call on the flexible crampons especially if wearing them with non-rigid boots.
It really depends on how much you care about weight, life and ease of use as to whether to go with steel or AL. If you want something to put on and not worry about dulling them by crossing rocks and other crap, just go steel, they will weigh a little more but last a long time and if you ever have the desire to go technical with them you can without worrying about their integrity.
As far as AL goes, if you don't mind having to refile points often after walking on rocks and replacement time depending on how much they are used, go for it, there is definitly a good weight savings.
As far as brand, I would just go with the best price to weight ratio, its a good way to balance priorities. 10 points are fine for non-tech but 12 would probably be your best betif you want something tech ever.
As far as an axe goes, the BD Raven Ultra is light and handles well, but again, if you just go with a good price to weight ration and just scale it with which property is more important you really can't go wrong.