I help manage a semi-vanilla server, Vanilla Valley. We are an 18+ community that enjoy playing minecraft. It's a great community. We have about 6-10 on during peak hours so it's not too much but not too little. We are starting up community events (like the fishing contest today). If you'd like more information to be whitelisted, you can go to our forum post here, or our website to apply here.
You should try Aerial Heights. We get around 10+ players at peak times, and all are dedicated members. Community is our specialty. We use mumble, and there's almost always someone to talk to. We have PVP for those who want it, called consensual pvp. We have a lot of plugins, but most of them are backend stuff. We aren't strictly a vanilla server, but we're pretty close. We're running mcmmo, iconomy, simpleclans, floAuction, and many other great plugins. We're a graylist server, which means you can come check it out before you make any decisions. If you decide to stay, you'll need to make an application for a rank up.
We are freebuild server. We do have pvp but in the Main world and End World it is Consensual pvp ONLY. Meaning both players have to agree before fighting etc. If you do not agree you have no worry of being attacked.
Our Nether is full pvp though to allow people who want more to do with pvp be able to. Its a bit different than what you posted but a lot are very friendly and have come to enjoy it this way as players figure out how to actually work together and some fight for fun not for anything else. We will have danger zones as well in the main world for clan war events etc