Thanks for the comments Jim and Cam.
As far as cruising on smaller boats with kids, I agree, it can be done if you (as parents, not kids) have the right temperment. Several people and books I have read list examples of it. Also, my experience has not been that my stuff breaks that much (Cam and others could comment on this as they live aboard and have cruised a lot) - however, my boats have been new. The problems my budget has had is food and gadgets I buy, honestly.
As far as Jims comments on different boats that can work too, absolutely. You will make the boat you buy work, even if you have to modify it. Still, I was just trying to list my personal, real life experiences and preferences and why.
Ask four sailors a question, you will get four different answers (or more like eight since they will start arguing with themselves!)
Thanks again for the kind words all. See you out there.