Lawns - it's a tough cycle; we like them because they're familiar. Most people don't open garden magazines because there's a monotonous carpet of green. It's just a visual element we've accepted.
I totally agree that it's the only choice for CERTAIN recreational/family activities. If that's you're solution, then there's the obligation to create and maintain your lawn with respect for all best environmental practices.
There are great alternatives: stop by the new expansion of Bohnett Park at San Andres & W. Victoria - new meadow coming in with native grasses, blue-eye grass, daisies, yarrow, sedge. Much more interesting to look at, lower water use and still provides a flat plane to set off the rest of the plantings.
Gotta run. Thanks for the opp. to expound.