chein sheng is the best by far and away.
seriously, these are based on my experiences, i haven't tried the new pilot streets or the mez3's. have used mez1's though, and didn't like the front, but it could be because my shock was crap.
for the street, i like d207zr's. they're cheap and seem to last okay. my bike has 1200 miles and they're about 60% or so, but i'm not doing as much mountain riding, so i think i'll get 2500-3000 miles out of them, that's at 30psi. not bad. the new evo's seem to last longer judging by my friend's tire-eating r1, and they stick well, but i like the 207's a little bit better.
i don't do much touring, but i hear that the metzler sport-touring tire rips. bt-56 may be better since they're a hard sportbike tire and cheaper.
for racing it's hard to say. i use 56's and like them, but bridgestone is supposed to have a new tire out for lw guys. it depends on your level on what's best. if you're a back of the pack yellow-plate roadracer, soft dunlop slicks ain't gonna help (that's why i don't use them). if you're a fast expert, the best tire is the one that's paying the most money that you can still win on, and those guys eat up tires so fast they can try different ones out different ones easily.
bang for the buck, bt-56 or 207, tough choice. i think on the street the 207 is a little bit sticker, but the 56's wear well and don't do anything evil for way less money than most other tires. as for melting them, if you're melting them on the sides, you'll be melting other tires too. though i've heard drag racers complain that bridgestones will melt down the middle and destroy the tire better easily. i've heard other drag racers say they're great.
00 GSX-R750-yellow & black
88 FZR400-krylon black
[This message has been edited by cbrf2boy (edited June 22, 2000).]