I don't mind the surrounds where they are, but as is the case with most of my placement decisions, there aren't a lot of other choices. I toyed with the idea of ceiling-mounting them, but didn't feel like that would look that great when you enter the room, and would limit my never-ending tweaking of things. As much as I love my place, I long for a larger room just to spread things out a bit. My speakers can really fill up a room pretty well, and it would be great to have the room to push them.
On the Synergy stand, I've now had it for two years, and am still a huge fan of it. Incredibly strong, high-quality, and still looks great. Definitely a step up from the MDF stuff I've always had in the past. Yes, as long as you leave the back off, you could add doors to the front and have the Emotiva amps fit nicely. They hang out the back, but it's no big deal to me.
I'm due for some new pictures at some point. I've replaced the XPA-3 with an XPA-5, moved the subs to the front (which doesn't look as good, but sounds a LOT better), and angled the surrounds a bit differently. The UPA-2 is still there, but I don't use it, currently; I plan to add heights at some point, I think, which the UPA-2 will power.