Well, a hybrid is useful in traffic and stop n' go type situations. If you do highway driving, it isn't very useful (typically the gas engine kicks in after x speed).
The AWD vehicle will get less gas mileage then a 2 wheel drive.
So, I guess I'd ask what type of driving you do before you make a hybrid decision. The batteries are warrantied for 10 years. As far as the cost for other repairs, your guess is as good as mine.
For better gas mileage, your best bet is a 2wd. We live in MA and my dh has a 2wd. No problems yet. I did 360s in my AWD SUV while pregnant a few years ago. Go figure.
As far as brands, the best out there right now is Honda concerning qualty. Ford and Toyota are equal and from there on...I can't remember. If you buy used, the quality story would be different, Toyota outpaced Ford and Honda was still near or at the top.