Both of those areas you mentioned have a mix of schools, you really have to check it out carefully and move to the area with the right one. Neither has what you are thinking of as the small town feel. Lots of Boeing and other industrial areas, old homes downtown and typical newer developments in the suburbs.
Look into Issaquah, not that much further away, and a real small town feel. Plus XXX Root Beer with cars shows every weekend all summer.
Bellevue has some of the best schools but is more expensive. If you landed a really good job the best schools are on Mercer Island. Here in Sammamish we have good schools and it's a small town but really more like no town. You have to drive to Issaquah or Redmond for most everything, and that's about 15-20 minutes drive.
Views do cost money, $20-50,000 more. From my front yard near the street we can see the Cascades and the Snoqualmie valley below, really spectacular, but not from the house.
BTW I work for the Port which operates the airport, though I'm on the seaport side.