Domestic garden lawns are a boon to busy families, a place of safety, you know where they children are and they cannot hurt themselves on a soft grassy lawn, I have two one for the youngest children that the dogs never get onto and one that lets the dogs run too (visitors dogs). Having helped maintain a bowling green for many years (Voluntary as were all the helpers) and being treasurer of the Bowls Club I do Know the cost of maintaining one and the amount of work involved. The normal urban garden lawn can never reach the high level of a bowling green and most people never expect it too, plenty of food can be grown as well as a small lawn or even small patches of grass that are restful to the eye.
Most Bowling greens are started on a rubble bed for drainage and then built up with top soil, compost and then a sand and compost mix then the correct grass seed mix. Each year we had to put down a special top soil dressing mix costing hundreds of pounds and then the weeding and other maintenance that all costs money including the various machines you must have.
In my opinion a lawn is better than masses of wood planking as in instant garden make overs and lets face it the garden whether grass or boarded out or even full of plants bushes or trees is only used for recreation in our hit and miss summers. So each to their own after all a garden is built in our own image for us as we wish to use it. My advice is use the toughest grass seed, feed and weed twice a year, never walk on it when wet and do not expect it to look like the local Bowling Green, it never will.