I've had speakers that disappeared. Put them in storage along with a lot of other things between moves. When I came back to get them after moving, they had disappeared, along with everything else.
On a different note though, the recordings do make a big difference. I've heard recordings where the mixer literally placed certain things solely in one or the other speaker. It really limits the soundstage when they do that. On the other hand, I've heard quite a few good systems with the right recordings, where it was difficult to pinpoint the source of the sound as emanating from the speakers.
There is something to be said for speakers that radiate towards the back (as well as front) though, as properly setup, they can produce soundstages that have amazing depth and realism.
I recall my Dad's old setup as my first recollection of jaw dropping sound. On one particular record, the imaging and soundstage was so precise, I would have sworn that if I had a bag full of golf balls at my side, I could have lobbed the balls one at a time with my eyes closed and bonked the lead singer and each member of the band on the forehead one by one. They were distinctly placed in the 3D soundfield and the soundstage extended beyond the front wall. With my eyes closed, it sounded as if the band was about 5 feet further back than the front wall.