If I were a record company exec reading this thread, I think I'd just say, "Why bother with this surround s#!+? The people with the equipment are unbelievably nit-picky. We spend all of this money remixing, and nobody even likes the results. Let's just scrape the last few bucks we can from the bottom of the CD barrel and sell everything else on line. You know who's not picky? Those teenagers walking around with the iPods stuck in their ears. Those are our customers!"
Why is PS better in mono just because Brian Wilson can't hear out of one ear? Mono mixes were made for AM car radios and little plastic record players. To me, the PS mono mix has always sounded distorted, compressed and sloppy. Even Brian himself said that the stereo mix sounded like someone had pulled a blanket off the speakers.
Having said that, I think mono sounds great on those '50s recordings that were basically done live in the studio. But when producers started taking multi-track recordings and reducing them to one, combining noise from every individual track, monaural started sounding flat and lifeless. No one seems to be able, in remastering, to elicit much definition and presence from them. (Unlike, for example, the most recent remasterings of the early Elvis RCA albums.)
Pet Sounds and the early Beatles albums are the worst examples of flat mono. I even prefer the crude stereo of the '62-'64 Beatles records.
I'm not saying that y'all need to accept crappy mixing, but I think some of you are overreacting a bit to the supposed flaws in PS. When I first listened to the new mono remaster of it, I was put off by the quite loud hiss at the beginning of "Wouldn't It Be Nice." Does anyone actually prefer that to the surround mix?