When I moved into my house we had the same extremely tired carpet all over the house. I pulled up the stuff in the hallway and replaced it with the laminate flooring from Depot (not the most expensive stuff they had but midgrade). It was probably about 3 years ago. I even bought the installation video since I had not idea what the heck I was doing.
To clearify, the hallway does not have a high level of natural light. Anyway, 3 years later I have 3 kids 4, 2, and 6 months (all girls). We have 2 cats and a nice big black lab. All of us trounce on that floor pretty good. It has taken wet kids, bathroom "accidents", matchbox cars, walkers, strollers, shopping carts, and an extemely large array of destructive kids toys. It still looks as good as it did 3 years ago.
i did spend the money on the real good "at the time" underlayment which was this green rubbery foam like stuff. I also took the time ot fill in the gap along the sides (under the quarter round) with am extremely flexible silicon caulk to keep the various multitude of liquid material kids get on a floor from having an easy shot under the floor. I am guessing in 7-10 years I will replace the floor and go with real hardwood at that time but all in all, I would have to say I am pretty happy with what this stuff has put up with.