I agree with your assessment of the sound but it is in the service of some of the most insipid performances on disc. For me, they were all "listen once" experiences.Try the DTS series of CD/DVD-A that are being sold. I have their Mozart, Schubert & Tchaikovsky discs, all conducted by Don Jackson and featuring either the London Symphony Orchestra, or else the London Philharmonic. Very well recorded, superb 5.1 mixes that are fully discrete as well (not just the usual reverbs in the rear job).
Fine performances of both Rheingold and Walkure with excellent theater-perspective sound: good vocal sound, the orchestra is in the pit, resulting in excellent warmth and detail with limited brilliance in the sound of the brass and upper strings.I'm not the worlds biggest SACD fan, but the Australians - with the backing of government money, apparently, are putting out Wagners Ring Cycle - in it's entirity - in 5.1 on SACD. I saw the article in one of the online DVD-Audio sites, and it may be old news to some but was the first I had heard of it.....may well be worth a look. It didn't say if it would be in the written german, or Goodall's English version (which I have on SQ Vinyl!!)
Either way, multichannel Wagner - done well - cannot be anything other than impressive!