@eric (regarding your last post): Yes, you can use "Leute" in this context, but you have to use different verbs (tricky, I know...)
Es waren vier Leute da. ODER Es saßen vier Leute am Tisch.
I agree with JanZ, regarding the stylistic register.
Be careful though, "Leute" in German is a bit more colloquial than "people" in English (and, as JanZ pointed out, not always interchangeable).
So, for instance, you could read something like "people nowadays spend more time on the cell phone" in an English newspaper article, whereas in German you would say "die Menschen verbringen heute mehr Zeit am Handy" - "Leute", at least in my opinion, would be considered too colloquial in this context (for a newspaper article).
Hope this makes sense :)