yes, i've done that for the past 6 months. i've had a Sony 7.1 reciever driving a set of Totem Dreamcatchers (front L/C/R/sub). and to be honest, it doesn't sound nearly as good as my plain 2 channel system. i have a pretty nice 2 channel system that is tube based (power amp/pre amp) so imaging is very good. over the past 3 weeks, i've completely removed my surround gear from my system, and now i'm piping my DVD player and my cable box through my preamp. i get far more 3d sound from my 2 channel than my 3.1 channel setup. difficult to believe i'm sure, but my girlfried agrees.
i'm quite amazed as to the sound engineering that goes into current TV productions, i was watching a Discovery program the other night, it was produced in 2003, and the sound was very good. little neaunces (sound affects) voices, background sounds, all had their place in 3d space. the only thing i seem to be missing is sound from the rear. based on my previous 5.1 systems i've had in the past, only spacial cues seem to come out of the rear (but this was 4 years ago - perhaps modern DVD soundtracks take more advantage of the rears).
i would still like to pursue a good surround sound processor. my dream would be to have a surround sound processor with a tube stage output.