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Recommendations for base town in Austria

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We are looking at going to Austria for the first time in May 2012. We are in the midst of deciding where to base ourselves - 2 adults & 2 kids below 10 years.

We will be using the public transport and will not be driving at all.

We are interested in seeing alongwith the usual 3 cities i.e. Vienna, Salzburg & Innsbruck some nice countryside/villages/mountains/farms. We are okay with being based in the villages and travelling on a daily basis for sightseeing if it is cost effective.
We are interested in some farm stays too.

Can anyone recommend some base towns/villages in each region and where we should stay?

Also, if someone can tell which ticket works out the best (cost effective) in Austria?

Any advise would be very helpful.

Kind regards,
SKPKCP11

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