Same here, we ski at St Hilaire du Touvet the most part. Somewhere like Chamrousse or les 7 Laux would be considered a “big day out” for us and their lift passes are only in the 20-30 euro range. Go to les Arcs and you are looking at 40 euros plus for a day pass. As you say, if you have kids you don’t need 600km of runs, in fact 600km of runs would do me for a few seasons.
During a normal winter, with fog, snow etc it is much more pleasant skiing in the 1000-1500m range below the treeline and on drag lifts.
As for global warming, things were much worse in the 90s. I remember Chamrousse not being open until the start of February one year and it is not just snowmaking that has changed things. We used to get intolerable summers with temperatures in the high 30s.