Actually, Tyson, what you say is true to electrostats in general, BUT MLs (and Sound-Labs) are a little different. Their curved panels will project sounds toward the side walls more than their flat panel brethren.
On the flip side, literally and figuratively, the panel's curve will cause some of their back projected sound to cancel at a certain distance. I think the OP said ML recommends no less than 3' of space behind the speakers. I'm not sure if this is a model specific or general recommendation. The minimum distance (for some back projected sounds to cancel) would vary, based on the radius of the panel.
Beyond all this, measurements and room treatments WILL help (particularly behind the speakers). I just wanted to point out some further considerations that may be somewhat ML specific.