Republique, to the north of Marais and Bastille, is an area that combines a working class atmosphere with fashionable boutiques. Republique Plaza itself may feel noisy and crowded with people, but very nearby there is the Saint-Martin Canal where you can take your family to see the beautiful scenery of old Paris spread out before you. Around the Oberkampf and Northern Marais districts you will find lots of high-end, but not snooty, cafes and shops.
And it is a place where many artists have chosen to live in after being attracted by a feeling of freedom not found in Opera or the Champs Elysees. Not to mention that for such a convenient place, there are a lot of reasonable hotels!