Your concerns are in the right place. I live in SE PA and even with a very good, standard-asphalt driveway, it gets 'abused' over time.
What you might want to consider doing is getting a few references from the gound asphalt Folks who have ground asphalt driveways under similiar conditions such as yours. If you can't get any or they won't give you any, what does that tell you? Sometimes, the expense for a 'good' driveway outweighs the headaches of a lesser expensive one where you have to pay for repairs or REPLACEMENT later on.