For me, rain pants are not worn to keep rain off me. They are worn to avoid hypothermia. In other words, they are only worn in cold, wet conditions. As many of my backpacking trips are in New England throughout the year, many of my trips are in cold, wet conditions.
To each his own, but for some reason, these conditions do not phase me. I hike with complete contentment in the cold and wet. I'll admit that if you throw in wind, I look for low lying, sheltered areas. Thanks to the eastern forests, there is usually some natural protection.
I have two pair of rain pants. If no snowshoes, skiis or crampons are involved, I use GoLite Reed pants. For winter shoulder seasons with a mix of rain/snow/ice I wear the heavier TNF full zip H2O No rain pants.