Fred, I agree with you about Lombok, and yes, I’ve been there several times for pleasure and business.
Most of the best areas are in the south (Kuta, Lombok) the upper western coast (Senggigi) and to a much lesser degree these days, the Gili Islands. Unfortunately, Gili “T” (Gili Trawangan) has already gone down the same path as Kuta, Bali…in that it’s been trashed, overdeveloped and a haven for all night drunken debacles, druggies and whores.
Frankly, for me, the idea of moving to Kuta, Bali with a kid isn’t much different than the idea of moving into the Nana Plaza in Bangkok.
For Bali, with a few exceptions, one has to get out of the South to have much of a chance to enjoy what Bali really has to offer which is spectacular scenery, quiet remote beaches, and of course an amazing culture. Nusa Dua in southern Bali is home to many 5 star resorts and hotels; it’s exclusive, but it’s also totally contrived (our Disneyland) and getting about Bali to other areas from Nusa Dua is no fun (traffic, traffic, traffic).
Sanur, in southern Bali remains somewhat of a unique jewel, and that’s ironic in that Sanur was the very first place on Bali where tourism really began to develop (long before Kuta).