I think there are many of us in the same boat here, trying to decide what to do come October and the deadline for filing those pesky CAFs.
I have been to several of the grammar schools and think all of them have excellent points as well as some disadvantages (pretty much like all schools really!) We are very local to Tiffin Boys (10 min bus ride) and so this would be our first choice, just because it really is so local. However, I know the chances of my DS getting in are minimal (well, one in 10 roughly) so we have to think realistically.
We are in the catchment of a comp. which has a fast track stream (not partially selective like Graveney) which is pretty well thought of and it also has the advantage of being a 7 minute walk from our front door. It is ok on extra curricular, but not amazing and there are things that it doesn't offer that I know my DS would take up given the opportunity. My question is, if my DS failed to get into Tiffin, but by a minor miracle achieved a high enough score to get into a school like Wilsons, is the difference in education he would receive between Wilsons and the local comp, worth the daily commute across town to get there? We're talking about an hour's commute every morning, getting out of bed an hour earlier than he would otherwise do etc etc. It's not just about results for me (and I think he could probably achieve well in the fast track of the comp), it's more the intangibles that are making me fret, like "the vibe" of the school, "joining in" and the other experiences he will look back on after at least 5 years at that particular institution.