I'm based in the Portland, OR area as well. Your story reminds me of the "IFR catch-22" prior to buying my Bravo (FIKI & turbo), IE: you need an instrument rating to fly in clouds, but anytime there are clouds, icing is almost guaranteed. Prior to my Bravo (in a Grumman Tiger) my MO was to only fly in IMC above the freezing level and this is, as you know, virtually impossible during winter in the Pacific NW when the MEAs are well into the freezing levels. As such, I wouldn't fly instruments and would quickly lose my currency and proficiency. With the Bravo, I'm primarily interested in determining where the tops are (Cloud Forecast in ForeFlight) so I can get on top, then I only have to deal with ice on climb out and descent.
BTW: My experience with the Cloud Forecast is it typically understates the thickness of a layer. In the Pacific NW, FIKI TKS and a turbo has increased the utility value of my flying 10X. I can fly on all but the worst weather days. I simply wouldn't consider an airplane without both in the future.