We have done a fair amount of traveling in Europe, but Switzerland has me a bit confused. We have stayed in Lauterbrunnen previously and enjoyed it. But we are considering staying in Murren or Gimmelwald this time. We will be driving down from Germany in our own vehicle. Are either of those villages accessible by car? Also, planning to make a trip up to the Schilthorn (did the Top of Europe previously) and hike a bit in the area using cable cars and gondolas. In addition, we would like to try a round trip on the Golden Pass. Should we buy a Swiss Pass or just buy point-to-point tickets?
Murren and Gimmelwald are not accessible by car but there is parking available at the base of the cable car lift where you can leave your car while you are staying there.
Also, the atmosphere in Murren and Gimmelwald are fantastic and well worth staying there. But since you have a car I thought I might throw another option into the mix for you. We've stayed in Beatenburg, on the other side of Interlaken twice now. It's a more modern community than Murren and Gimmelwald but the views over the lake are absolutely stunning and the 3 big mountains - Monch, Eiger and Jungfrau - are directly above the lake in front of you. We found the prices to be very good for the two different places we stayed in. Both times we rented apartments (for less than a week each time) but there are other options in the community as well.
Here's one of the places we stayed: http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p759063
Whatever you choose, you won't be disappointed.
There are 3 places to park south of Interlaken, other than the tiny villages as you go south. The large tourist town of Grindelwald does allow cars and chalets there tend to have parking for guests, but it is a little further.
The covered multi storey car park next to the station is very convenient, safe, and all weather. If I remember correctly it is something like CHF10 per 24 hours.
The open lot at the foot of the Stechelberg cable car to Gimmelwald and Muerren is wide open, safe, right where the base jumpers land, more remote, first hour free, and about half the price of the building at Lauterbrunnen.
No cars in Wengen, Gimmelwald, or Wengen (where would they put them!?!?!) which is part of the appeal. It is SO QUIET up in the mountains - and beautiful beyond description.
As the others have mentioned, there are no cars in either Mürren or Gimmelwald (except for the local farm vehicles) so you'll have to use one of the nearby car parks. As you plan on visiting the Schilthorn, one of the easiest options would be to park in the lot in Stechelberg and then take the Cable Car to whichever village you plan to stay in. Have your Camera at hand for the Cable Car ride as that first segment is quite steep and spectacular.
Gimmelwald is fairly small, but does have a good choice in lodgings (Esther's Guesthouse, Pension Gimmelwald and for the younger group, the famous Mountain Hostel). Mürren is somewhat larger and has a great selection of lodgings in various price range and comfort levels. They also have a Co-Op store and some good restaurants. Hopefully Chris ("Mürrenlover") will spot this Thread as I'm sure he will have some great suggestions.
I'd suggest having at least one meal at the Schilthorn, as it's wonderful to sit in the elegant revolving restaurant and watch the panorama of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau pass by the windows (especially if the weather is good). I've always found the food to be great quality there, although it won't be an inexpensive meal (which is true of just about anywhere in Switzerland). You could also have a "Martini shaken not stirred" in the James Bond Bar, which is one floor below the restaurant (conveniently located in the middle of a souvenir shop).
You did not say how long you will be there. You might look at a Berner Oberland Regional Pass. That would cover the Golden Pass route between Gstaad and Luzern, local lifts, and 50% discount on the Schilthorn. It is a little less than the Swiss Pass, and available in 6 and 10 day varieties as well as the 4 and 8 day types offered by Swiss Pass. Do some math and see if the 30 day Half Fare Card would save more than a pass.