For avalanche shovels, my BCA is infinitely better than my Pieps. It's wider, able to cut bigger blocks, the Pieps has an asinine "90 degree hook" at the top of it, making it impossible to pack it flat in a pack, etc. Maybe it works for a Pieps pack or something, but I only use it for trailbuilding because it sucks so much...and the BCA works so much better for trailbuilding, so I'll probably pick up another. I've used it to dig out my car too.
that's my experience. have a decent plastic one with a metal strip, metal handle, plastic grip bits. works well for plain snow/slush. then have a nice heavy duty metal one for when it gets all icy (which is more the crap we get where i am anyhow)