Hi Roger - a fine article, as always.
Several of the photos are mine (perhaps ones I sent to you for a previous tent article I edited or for other past work). It would be nice to get the credits added in case the article is shared, but more usefully to the discussion, I thought I'd identify what they show and expand on a couple of your points.
The 2nd picture, the large one of the blue Brawny Tacoma tarptent with the snowshoes, is in late winter/early spring at Lassen Volcanic National Park. In the series of four tents in good weather, the top left is my Hilleberg Saivo at Lassen National Forest in February, bottom left my Tarptent Cloudburst at Yosemite National Park at New Year's, and bottom right an Equinox poncho tarp with a Backpackinglight Vapr Bivy, in the Tahoe National Forest in Spring.
All of those were in mostly mild conditions, as stated, with the tarptents in particular being realistic only for good conditions like that (more on that in a moment).
In the stormy series of photos, that's the Saivo again, after a snowstorm in Lassen Volcanic NP. At top right is a Bibler Tempest in a strong gale near Carson Pass in the Eldorado National Forest. I did want to note that it's a single-walled tent, and to make that point that there are conditions where those work well, especially when the fabric is somewhat breathable like that used for the main body of the Tempest, and when conditions are on the dry side. As a side note, on that particular trip I set the Bibler up in the midst of a blizzard the night before that picture, and it was quite a struggle to get the poles (internal, with pockets and twist ties inside to hold them in place) situated; one of them ended up bent, though the tent held up! That area routinely gets winds over 60 mph, with gusts of 100+ mph on ridgelines. I'd only use the Hilleberg, Bibler or similar tents in that area if there were even a remote chance of a winter storm.
The bottom right picture in that series is the Tacoma tarptent again, in February near Dewey Point at Yosemite NP. I was seeing just how light I could go, and certainly exceeded the limits of the gear (a tarptent with only open mesh on one side, though I did use a bivy sack inside; an alcohol stove; lightweight but sufficient clothing). I did that knowing my skills, having friends just down the trail camping in more appropriate shelters, and being within a couple hours snowshoe of the trailhead and car. Circling back to the use of tarptents or light bivies with tarps, and noting that I've occasionally been caught in unforecast storms, I would not make those a first choice in the mountains in winter. In shoulder season, especially spring in the Sierra Nevada, they can be airy and comfortable, but using them in winter in the mountains carries more risk in my opinion than using even a bivy sack and tarp. And, regardless of the shelter, I now bring SMS snow anchors and snow stakes, the anchors being the most reliable choice.
The picture of the folks in the snow kitchen is from Yosemite as well (that's blogger Calipidder and her husband, backpacking buddies of mine for many years). When we go in larger groups like that, we always take time to dig out a snow kitchen table, seats, and trench, and sometimes niches for cooking and storage; otherwise, we tend to cook individually in vestibules, with all the cautions you recommend. In the fairly mild conditions in the picture, you can see we were using both remote canister and canister-top stoves, but for more serious conditions, I always bring a remote canister stove now (in preference to gasoline/diesel/kerosene stoves, which can be reliable and powerful, but no longer seem worth the trouble and mess for our conditions here). If I'm using a pulk, I usually bring a heat exchanger or heat exchanger pot in addition to the remote canister stove and windscreen, to increase efficiency.
The orange Golite Hex with the snow block wall belongs to Calipidder and her husband as well. On that trip, we stomped down a snow quarry, let it sinter, then used a snow saw to carve out the blocks and place them around the Hex. Conditions didn't actually call for this - it's the same trip where I slept under the tarp pictured earlier - but it was good practice to do it. We saw that it is certainly something better done before a storm hits, not once it's under way, and would offer only a modicum of additional protection. (I would more likely bury the perimeter of the Hex with snow and live with the limited airflow from the top vent - and resulting condensation - if I were trying to keep a raging storm out).
Thanks for helping get more people out in a wonderful, but sometimes underutilized, season.
A last pic, showing my wife very happy to be in a "real" tent, at Crater Lake National Park in mid-winter (sorry I can't remember how to embed pics):