How can you not have multichannel system

I just finished listening to Allman Bros 'Live at the Fillmore East" on SACD, and cannot believe the 2-channel 'Luddites' who have shunned multichannel sound. They probably shun fuel injected engines as well. Oh well, their loss, but Kal has it right.

The audiophile goal is to accurately reproduce whatever is embedded in the media.

Obviously, but that is as good as they can get. Nevertheless, the ideal is an excellent recording. Everyone constantly talks about "great" recording and "great" performances. When you get both it is thrilling.
a recording is an inexact reproduction of reality. recording quality varies. why strive for a significant discrepancy from reality ? in fact there is no way to know what is embbeded on a recording. the content is unknown. therefore, how can you strive to reproduce that which is unknown ?

our hobby is essentially one of entertainment. thus, there is no definitive criterion for achieving the "optimum" level of entertainment. it is a purely subjective phenomenon.

i accept the concept of accuracy. it is an ideal which cannot be attained, as a stereo system is composed of components which are imperfect.

those who believe that "input=output" is the sole purpose of a stereo system are entitled to that opinion. unfortunately, there will never be an accurate system and it is difficult , if not impossible to quantify the inaccuracy of a stereop system, as the concept of accuracy is mult-dimensional.

i think that that trying to configure a multi channel stereo systemis just a manifestation of satisfying the taste of the listener, as tvad has stated. i don't consider any other significance to this endeavor.
Onhwy61 takes a nice approach in rationalizing the cost of building out mch around the nucleas of a high-end 2ch set-up, and in balancing the estimated cost of this upgrade against the limited availability of mch SACDs.

Alternatively, it would be possible to expand a high-quality 2ch SACD system into mch using budget-oriented equipment for the mch front-end and surround-channels. The question then becomes: would this be more satisfying than listening to SACD through a higher quality 2ch system?

There are probably more than a few 2ch devotees like myself who similarly experimented with the surround music-modes of HT processors added with mid-line amps and speakers on top a high-end 2ch audio-only system. Even with a good HT processor like Lexicon, the results sucked! So once bitten it's tough to contemplate returning to the idea without going all out.
Agree with Dgarretsson. And although running a stereo recording through a surround processor is not the same thing as listening to an actual surround mix on the disc, one of the few processors that gets it right in my experience is Meridian's Tri-field mode. But then you are already into big bucks with that rig..