IIRC, Dead Silence also cancels player grunts and callouts ("planting claymore!") and noise made running through bushes and weeds, in addition to footsteps. Awareness against Dead Silence only restores some of the footstep volume. It does NOT effect the Dead Silence benefits of player grunts and callouts or noise made running through bushes and weeds.
Also, maps are said to have more background noise this time around to make footstep volume less important (like the train in WMD in Black Ops). I'll see if I can find the article that said all of this.
Edit: found it - http://community.activision.com/message/413352911
People are strange, when you're a stranger, Faces look ugly, when you're alone
According to this, Vonderhaar said in a podcast that Awareness users can't hear Dead Silence footsteps but can still hear other sounds. Also they are still tweaking the game and I'm pretty sure they are aware of people crying about SitRep, the right decision will be made.