Nah man, surround audio is easy now. Just about any modern receiver will support uncompressed surround audio over HDMI, and ProLogic II for legacy stuff. It's the weird middle period when we were trying to transition from stereo to surround, but didn't have the bandwidth to do it uncompressed that all the complicated compression schemes were introduced and necessary. It won't be an issue moving forward.
There's still a bit of research to do, but it's really on things like making sure you get something with good room correction. That's what we're all here for. Keep me in mind when you decide to move to surround and I'll point you in the right direction.
Out of curiosity, is the primary reason you've never moved to surround the idea of running wires and speakers to the back of the room? Our receivers are smart as hell these days, and humans are pretty simple creatures to fool. One option is that you can run a 3.1 setup where Left, Right, Center and the sub are all on the front half of the room. This will get you 90% of the way there. The receiver will take advantage of some holes in our human audio sub-system and provide a very convincing illusion of surround speakers.
In addition, thanks to room correction, surround audio is dirt cheap these days. Smart software does a fantastic job of leveling the capabilities of speakers. Ten years ago, getting better sound meant buying the $1000 speaker instead of the $100 speaker, though neither would really sound "correct". Now you can buy either one of them and room correction will do it's damnedest to make them both sound the same, but correct. Cost has essentially been solved with processing power.