I used to like doing this but now I'm a guy who likes the sound as is...e.g if it's 2 channel audio, give it to me that way as either 2.0 or 2.1 (sub with two fronts). It just sounds better.
Either way, if you're not happy with software solutions there are plenty of hardware sound cards with various interfaces to do this, look at the C-Media chipped soundcards.
Theater: Monitor Audio Platinum PL200/PL350C, Seaton Submerssive, 150" 3D Elite Screens +more
Living Room: Aperion Grand Verus, Outlaw LFM-1 EX, 70" Sharp Aquos +more
Stage 1 - Enthusiasm, Stage 2 - Realism
Stage 3 - Obsession, Stage 4 - Acceptance...Which stage are you on?