You know what happens when you connect your surround sound speakers to the wrong outputs on the receiver? You don't get any sound out of them.
Turns out the whole 7.1 audio setup is a little more odd than I had originally thought. So there are 2 front, 2 surround, 2 surround "back," 1 center, and 1 subwoofer. A normal 5.1 setup in this configuration would apparently be the 2 front, 2 surround and the sub (and the center channel, but I don't use one of those).
It seems that I had my rear speakers connected to the "surround back" channel instead of the regular surround channel. Once I actually figured that out, I was able to properly run the auto calculation tool on my receiver (you connect a mic and it sets the speaker distances for best output).
Oh ya... I also got some speaker stands, finally. Well, I'm on my second set really. The first ones I ordered from some random site through buy.com - they arrived broken. I didn't really care for their design anyway - just hadn't found anything else I like. That was until I found an even simpler, cheaper set on monoprice.com.
Now I just need a couple more speakers to finish off the 7.1 and take full advantage of this HD stuff... 🙂