The Hartford area has a wide array of options. From downtown Hartford condos and upscale outskirts like West Harford, a lot depends on what you are looking for. I work more on the eastern suburbs of Harftod. Glastonbury, Marlborough and Colchester offer excellent schools and public transportation into Hartford, all within a rural and tranquil setting.
Colchester is a booming town, with lots of growth occuring, and is located 1/2 way between Hartford and Groton. you have lots of options there.
Eastern CT, "East of the River," offers you more value in terms of house-for-the-buck. If you want privacy and land and a modest home for a reasonable prce, you can find it here. If I can help you at all, feel free to visit my website at http://www.ilmct.com