I climbed the Breithorn about 2 years ago, coming down off the ridge aint so bad, we came down in our crampons, but soon ditched them further down.
Never used snow shoes, so cant comment.
Your choice of 4000er is excellent one. The ride upto the Klein Matterhorn is great fun, then you walk through a long tunnel and youve heard the expression "walk towards the white light", well thats what you do, then you exit into snow wonderland
I stayed in Zermatt for 2 weeks last august had a great walking holiday, no cars in the town was very peaceful, they use golf like buggies to drive you around (taxis)
Returning to Zermatt in september to climb the Matterhorn.
Heading to Colorado in 2 weeks breck to board yeeehaa
If you want an idea for something else, why not try the Grand Paridiso in Itlay, i will be climbing that in June