First off I'm surprised at the cost premium that you noted. Checking Tire Trends for a Hankook W300 and you see that the 215 -70 is actually about $20 cheaper per tire than the 215-65. Obviously something different going on at your local tire store.
Both options that you noted will be smaller diamater and reduce ground clearance -not much for the 225-65 but 0.43 inches (diameter is 0.85 inches less) for the 215-65 -this is a fair bit. Also the 225-65 will be slightly wider and, while not a big difference, it is not preferable direction for winter tires where narrower is better. Both options will throw the speedo off a bit.
you can compare tire dimensions for different sizes. However when the diameter difference from the base tire is greater than 3% , you get a pop-up warning that brake failure
is a risk . Does anyone know the rational behind this?