/ First winter boots
Looking at your profile, I assume you're not far from Manchester. If so...... walk down Deansgate and try on all the boots that Ellis Brigham, Cotswolds, Nevis Sport, Blacks and North Face have to offer. (Be sure to take the two pairs of socks that you're planning to wear with them). A good fit will influence you far more than folks' opinions on here.
I recently bought my first pair of B2s, but did try a few B3's on too:
The Nepals and the Scapra Mont Blancs seem to be the one most folk go for, but as they're both both quite heavy. If you're sticking to Scottish stuff, it's might be worth you trying on some lightweight B3 boots too.
Personally I prefer durability to weight so i would consider leather boots. However unfortunately these tend to give me heel blisters so I now buy fabric ones - currently freneys.
I'd personally have a preference for b3 over b2, it gives you a wider choice of crampons that can fit as well as added support climbing. But to be honest fit is king if you are finding a pair of B2 is the most comfortable on get those.
I think if you get blisters from any particular leather boot depends mostly on your particular foot shape. What is fine on you may be a blister prone nightmare on the OP.
It may be worth bearing in mind that winter/alpine boots should last for years (depending on how much they are used, of course). So before making your purchase it's worth anticipating how much and what kind of climbing you expect to do.
La Sportiva Nepal Extremes are excellent all round boots and may be warmer in Scottish winter than some lighter boots. They are also good for alpine summer and can easily be resoled.
Might be worth buying a pair of cheap secondhand boots in roughly your size - something like the Salomon Super Mountain 9's that keep coming up - they'll last you until you have a solid enough idea of what you want to do in winter so that you can make an educated boot choice that will last you many years.
I.e. you buy nepals but decide you want to do hard mixed, or you want to do high alpine, or you have really bad circulation or whatever.
As others have said, fit is the most important thing. I wear Scarpas - have used Mantas, Mont Blancs and Phantom Guides - but can't get on with Sportivas at all. Shame because they are great boots too! If you have the opportunity to try different types on then take it, it will be worthwhile.
B2 if you are planning on walking/ easy routes and want a bit more roll/ flex to the sole. B3 if you want to get onto harder routes. The bigger your feet are the more difference this will make. Lightweight is good, but they will last a bit less time so depends on your budgets/ how much you are going to be able to use them.
Again as others have said, worth considering crampon choice at this stage too and looking at the fit of what you want on the boots you get. Some boots with a very asymmetric sole or a narrow toe don't fit some crampons very well. If you can take your boots when you go to buy crampons/ take your crampons if you have some already to buy boots.
Elsewhere on the site
Rock shoes stink – let’s face it. Boot Bananas are the perfect way to fight the funk and keep them fresh. They help... Read more
With four photos in this week's top ten, and a UKC gallery of stunning images we thought it was time we had a chat with... Read more
Tonight's Friday Night Video features the Norwegian town of Rjukan, once believed to be the home of the world's tallest... Read more
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more
Perhaps the perfect Xmas gift for the climber in your life... Wild Country's Crack School has two of the worlds best crack... Read more