Among the minor advantages of snowshoes, I could name no lift lines, no freezing on a chairlift, no $$$ for lift tickets, but these are all the things that are necessary parts of downhill skiing. So why would snowshoes be any better than XC or backcountry skis? You move faster on skis and going down is definitely lots more fun than digging the crampons into snow to fight gravity.
There is one advantage of walking, hiking, jogging or whatever pace and form of movement you take on snowshoes: you can actually access terrain that would be unthinkable on any kind of skis in the winter, and actually make your own trail at places where there would be no trail, or even a chance of getting through, in summer. A big log across a creek with enough packed snow on it becomes a bridge. Snow covered spruces? Just walk over them! Boulders, rocks? Five feet below the surface!
The best part? Awesome places 45 minute drive away. As Marketa pointed out yesterday after our three-hour intense aerobic outing at Snoqualmie Pass, it takes less time to drive to this beauty than it used to take us to reach Santa Cruz from Silicon Valley.
I still miss a knee deep powder and steep slopes, and if I am patient, between now and June I'm sure we will get some more.