"Guess I'm looking for an all-around snowshoe (which, after all this, could be a pair of Northern Lites....)."
There is a lot to be said for the Northern Lites as an all purpose snowshoe. They are very light and will perform well for all but the more extreme(technical) conditions, e.g. steep side hilling or ascents, or hard snow/ice on any significant angle, especially if there is a bad run out. For these conditions, the Lightnings are probably the best option, IME, although I have used my Northern Lites on 45 deree slopes while ascending/descending soft, consolidated snow(not easy on the calves, but doable). I have not used the Evos and am basing that part on what I have heard from friends. Another option, if you decide on the Northern Lites and may possibly encounter icy conditions is to pair them with a set of light crampons and have the best of both worlds. My 2 cents.