I have been doing a lot of research on this topic as well and here is where I am at. I am 61 years old and don't really like to deck height of a pick up or SUV because I have been using my full size van to move machines for years and it is so easy loading them by just tilting them then sliding them in. I always fee sooooooooooo sorry for people who have to lift machines to get them into their vehicle.
Anyway after looking at dozens of vehicles in person and doing a ton of research I have decided on a Kia Sedona. Even though it is a mini van it looks more like an SUV. Has low deck height for easy loading and with 3rd row fold down seats and second row seats all the way forward there is plenty of room for pretty much any pinball in it without really doing anything other than sliding seats forward. But the best part is the safety rating of this vehicle. It blows pretty much all other mini vans and SUVs away as far as overall safety rating.
Even though it is a mini van it actually has more of an SUV look than a mini van look and price is much better than most SUV's I looked at. I was a pick up truck guy for years but never looked back after buying my first full size van (hated the look but love the fact stuff was safe & dry in the back). What a difference when it comes to ease of loading & unloading a van and what ever you have in the back is locked up safe & sound and out of the weather. There is nothing better that a full size van for moving pins but now we are looking for something smaller and the Kia seems like the best fit. I'll be picking up my 2016 this week.
I know you said you wife wouldn't want a mini van but if you have the chance get her to give the Sedona a look in person. It seems to have it all - great safety rating, plush interior, decent fuel mileage, nice look, low deck height, decent towing for up to a 3500 pound trailer, plenty of leg room (I am 6'6" tall), and one pin fits great without removing any seats. I'll likely use a trailer when picking up more than one pin but I think two will fit fine removing second row seats.
I also looked at the Honda Odyssey because that got a little better fuel mileage than the Sedona and had the same great safety rating but that thing is a mini van for sure. The Kia seemed to have it all - looked more like an SUV and was priced cheaper than the Honda so I am sold on the Kia.
Don't get hung up on looks and buy another pick up. If you go in the direction of a van or mini van you might not feel as cool but you will feel a lot smarter when moving a pin or other bigger stuff in the rain! And if you need open vehicle for some purposes you can buy a decent open trailer for under $1000 than has those needs covered. Now that you are getting a little older think smart not showy and give the Sedona or Odyssey a good hard look.
Good luck with your first child! From experience there is nothing better than having a couple kids to make you life full!
Just my 2 cents on the "best vehicle to move machines topic"