For road going 17" tires you have several good choices: all good!
I've run Avon Distanzia's on several bikes, most recently on my DR650 (same size as XT) where the rear tire lasted 8,500 miles. Great in rain and hooligan riding on twisty back roads. Front is very good too, lasting over 10K miles touring. These are tubeless tires. No problem, run your tube as normal. No problem whatsoever.
I've also used the Michelin Anakee, Metzeler Tourance, Dunlop D607 and Pirelli MT90 AT. All come in sizes for your XT. All are good. Here in the US the Distanzia is the least expensive and last well, so I went with it and it's been great. The Tourance is the longest lasting but front Distanzia is better in wet. These are very sporty tires! All have really good side grip.
Also consider the Avon Gripster. Good long lasting tire that works everywhere.
Keep in mind you can also go with some very good 50/50 dual sport tires that work very well in ALL conditions (including dirt but not UK mud) and are far cheaper than the tires noted above. These tires will work much better off road than the Distanzias and such, but not last as long.
I really like these:
IRC GP-1 (rear will last 3 to 4K miles)
Shinko 705 (more road oriented but OK on dirt roads, great on tarmac) Rear good for 4K to 5K miles.
Shinko 944 (510/17 or 130/17) Rear good for 4K to 5K miles.
These tires are cheap and work great everywhere but will not last like a Distanzia or Tourance will. They are great in rain, good on dirt roads (not mud) and will not square off like a full knobbly will. Any knobbly, once squared off from road riding, is junk. Toss it out, it will kill you. The Shinko's are great tarmac tires, stick well and can be ridden very aggressively on the road.
I've used several sets of Bridgestone Trailwings as they are stock on many bikes including the DR650. Good tire, not good in mud. The rear Trail wing will wear out in 3000 miles. Front can go past 7000 miles. Both stick pretty well but I like the Shinko's and IRC better overall.