I agree with you about the garbage that is touted as kids programming, esp the violence and the "sexiness". I am literally terrified that so many kids are growing up on this stuff. That is one of the very big reasons I am afraid to send my kids to public school.
I have recently been renting the baby einstein tapes from the library and we REALLY enjoy them. They are mostly music, no flashy images and the baby shakespeare has poetry.
I am in the process of donating most of our other tapes so that the tv won't be such an easy temptation. We don't have cable and we get no reception so tapes are my last crutch.
In general I don't believe in tv but I do believe there are some very beneficial programs for both young and old (I just watched Gandhi for the first time). I am just trying to be selective about how much and why.