Pontiac G8 is simply awesome -- and I would agree that's a practical next step from the Camaro. That or a Trailblazer SS. I'm a GM employee, so my only considerations would be other GM products as a personal preference. Depending on if I could afford it, I'd love to pick up a used Chevrolet SS in 4-5 years once the price goes down a bit.
Considering your criteria (multiple kids and safety in snow), I would say an AWD TBSS would be your best consideration. They can be had used in very clean condition for the 15-16k range here in Michigan.
2012 Camaro LFX M6 - "Clifford" - 273hp/234tq on Dynojet - Cold Air Inductions CAI, VMAX Ported Throttle Body, MGW Short Throw Shifter
1994 Camaro LT1 A4 - "Red Alert" - v6-to-LT1 Swapped Cruiser
; Cammed, Stalled, Enjoyed