Not to mention the Bimbettes, despite their official name, were strongly implied to have been virgins (due to Gaston completely ignoring them for Belle, and likewise due to their being obsessed with Gaston they're not focusing on, much less copulating with any of the other men in the village), while the Balcony Harem Girls are most likely not virgins (aside from their name, their manager explicitly referred to them as a "Harem" in the opening song, and considering "harem" basically means brothels or whorehouses in the Middle East, you can pretty much guess what that implies about them.).
And yeah, you're right, the triplets were definitely nicer (if I recall correctly, the Harem Girls were sarcastic with Aladdin [who wasn't even intending to see them, but just trying to find a hiding spot from the guards since he was on the lam for stealing bread], and deliberately knocked him off their building). I don't recall them actually mocking Belle's father, and they seemed shocked that Belle would not accept Gaston rather than actually being antagonistic of her for being Gaston's focus (which is saying a lot, especially when she's effectively a rival to them for Gaston's attention), and even when they effectively supported Gaston's plan to persecute Maurice, I don't recall them actually mocking Maurice or laughing at him when he entered the tavern raving about the Beast holding Belle captive. Probably the closest they've ever gotten to doing something like the harem girls is when they squirted LeFou, and it was obvious that wasn't even intentional (they didn't realize he was nearby, and were pretty obviously distracted by Gaston). They were definitely a lot nicer than Beauty's sisters in the original tale.
BTW, is it just me, or do the triplets, from the way the scene was taken, look like they're slightly intimidated by the Harem girls?
Well, the word they're derived from, "bimbo," does have lack of intellect as a partial definition (although I've heard that it also means that they "use their body to get what they want."). They did have some degree of cleverness though, or at least Laura (the amber dressed one) in supplementary materials such as the marvel comics.
While I may not necessarily like the triplets for their effectively being designed in a way similar to the Female Anime Stereotype (you know, how girls are generally depicted in animes such as Love Hina, the Fiorello Fangirls in Princess v. Princess), I do place a lot more trust in them than in Belle right now, not because they are more beautiful than her, but because the little we know of their characters suggests they are loyal to males (ie, they won't become man-haters) and they may have Christian morality (the latter's mainly because the village is implied to be fairly devout in Christianity, with the exception of Belle). Having gone through a fairly terrible College experience where many times Christianity, if it is brought up, is usually bashed (I was raised Catholic), not to mention bashing my gender (male) and pushing leftism that directly attacks religion and traditional morality, Belle's actions on close examination are closer to those professors and students than they are to someone I would respect (plus the movie pushed the same lie that most women were uneducated and illiterate until the 1960s). The fact that Beauty and the Beast took place nearing the events of the French Revolution doesn't help matters, either (never really understood why they didn't just set it near the time of the original tale (which is the late 1400s at the latest) instead of the late 18th century, which is what Keane confirmed, and why did it have to be nearing the end of the 18th century when any century would work [save for mid-to-late 19th century and beyond]).
This Sleeping Beauty story you mentioned, is it by any chance "the-gleam-in-your-eyes?" The reason why I'm asking is because that's the name of a story on the tumblr RPA [trois-jolies-filles.tumblr.com Trois Jolies Filles] that featured the triplets, and Aurora for some reason visiting the village. That site's equivalent (triplet-focused) story is "To The Market We Go~!".
And I agree about what is technically their official name (though I've been guilty for using it myself, I try to use triplets). Besides, the official name isn't even that accurate since they're strongly implied to be virgins (since they focused on Gaston too much to even notice anyone else, much less sleep with the other men in the village, not to mention Gaston himself ignores them completely, at least in the original film and supplemental materials, there's little to no way they could have slept with anyone by that time, and besides, the village is strongly implied to be devoutly Catholic, and they have rules against premarital intercourse), while the derivative word for their official name has a partial definition that implies intercourse (namely, "using the body to get what they want"), in addition to the more well-known aspect of stupidity. Heck, I'm not even sure I'd call them stupid anyways, though they are shallow. Laura at least has already shown traits of cleverness if the third Marvel comic is anything to go by, and going by their reaction during the failed wedding, they at least had enough common sense to know that if Gaston married Belle, that meant the little chance they had at actually marrying Gaston is gone for good. I wouldn't say I "like" them, though (I'm more neutral to them right now, and had you asked me before Spring 2011, I probably would have stated that I disliked them with a passion due to not knowing any better about feminism), but I can say that I find them very trustworthy, moreso than Belle right now (it's complicated as to why I have that view, but let's just say that when you have had your religion bashed constantly in academia, and leftism is pushed around alongside militant feminism bashing heterosexual males like myself, especially when your religion ended up hunted down like animals since at least 1789, you probably would end up harboring distrust for Belle as well, and it pains me to even state that Belle's untrustworthy as I used to respect her).