Al crampons can be good, depending on the conditions, but ya gotta really know what the conditions are going to be. Ellen over on the San Jacinto forum was wearing some aluminum cleated snowshoes. They didn't bite on a patch of ice, and she slid into a tree. She had a busted ankle. Had to crawl on hands and knees to the summit hut. Took SAR three days to find her (storm on day 2 prevented searching). Steel's a good all around bet, but yes heavy. Al's a nice lightweight choice, but you'd really better know what kind of terrain and snow conditions you're getting into.
My crampons and ice axe are so old, they don't even make them anymore, so I'm not much help there.