I'd never thought about the CVT smoothness being an advantage on slick roads, but that makes sense. If anyone has the chance to drive a 500/Montego/Freestyle AWD on slick roads, I highly recomend it, they have incredible traction compared to SUV's, 4x4 trucks, etc. I'd been giving all the credit to the Haldex AWD, but now I think the CVT with it plays a big factor in this.
Yes, the CVT does loose fuel economy to the 6 speed (500 CVT 20/27 MPG, 6 speed 21/29MPG), but it is better than a 4 speed. A Taurus 4 speed 24V V6 gets the same mileage as a 500 CVT (front wheel drive) despite the 500 being a heavier car. I don't look for GM to do much with CVT's since they haven't had much luck with the one's in the Saturns (now discontinued). I was told they tried to cut corners on the CVT belt and that caused their problems. Start looking for more CVT's though, Chrysler's going to start makeing lots of them. The new Caliber (Neon replacement) will have CVT or manual transmisson.