Thanks for all the great questions and answers. I think I managed to read the whole thing, and I have more questions. This is a bit long-winded and noobish, but I'm hoping this can help others, like myself. Hopefully it's not too confusing. I'd be happy to clarify anything if needed.
My setup: (12AWG all around w/banana plug)
Polk Monitor 70 (Series 2) - Fronts
Polk RM8 - Center
Pioneer S-31B-LR-K - Surrounds
PS3 Slim for Blu-Ray and Games over HDMI
No Sub (can't afford yet/in apartment shouldn't press my luck)
First things first. I re-examined the power specs for the receiver and I'm concerned that I could be overpowering my surrounds, however unlikely. They're listed as 120W/6Ohm with a 3kHz crossover. I see there's a rated power output at 125W/6Ohm w/2ch driven at 1kHz. Am I overpowering the speakers (can it be limited)? Also, when I ran Audyssey, it set the crossover for the surrounds at 80Hz (THX). Would it be recommended that I bump it around? I tried running it up to 3kHz, but I think it stopped at a few hundred Hz, so I've left it alone at THX.
On to the fronts:
I set the Monitor 70s up as bi-amped through the receiver. I read that they can take 275W, so I figured bi-amping was the best way to realize their full potential. However, I'm relatively unimpressed with their performance so far, so something must be wrong.
Setting to bi-amp auto set the crossover to Full Range. I have yet to get the bass out of the speakers that I thought a speaker of this size should output. I'm in a small (12x16) room, so I figure this room should shake. I turned on a war movie figuring I'd get some booms, but they're puny. The loud, low "whoosh" of a cannon ball is almost inaudible.
I've been hunting everywhere for the power difference with bi-amping vs. jumpering. Am I actually getting near 200W to each front? Would I get better wattage with just one cable and a jumper? My concern with trying that set up falls back on my surrounds - I don't want to overpower them, so I'm worried it'd shift more power to them if I removed the bi-amp setting.
The other reason I feel like I've got it set up incorrectly, is I've got to turn the volume up into the 60s near 70 to get it as loud as I'd like it, and I still don't get the bass performance. Maybe I'm not selecting the right listening settings or something? Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Thanks to anyone who made it to the bottom! Thank you for any help at all!