Thanks for your input. With regards to the floor, both the current house and new house have concrete under the carpet. Room performance is fantastic. Maybe it’s a case of “you always want what you don’t have”, but as you guessed I’m thinking strongly about having SOME level of openness.
Here’s the entire basement as it is drawn now. The wall on one side is foundation and the other is load bearing so width is fixed.
Man.. let me just say.. That basement is huge and looks awesome and I am jealous.