MBL 101E placement in room

I've decided on buying a set of MBL 101e's for my home, but I'm now having a bit of trouble placing them in the space that I have. I know that since these are omnidirectional, I have to be more carefull about wall-coupling effects.

I've read that the MBL instructions dictate a minimum 2.6ft distance to the back wall and 1.5x that to the sidewalls, but I've also read on this board somewhere that the optimal distance is around 6ft from the back wall. (that means I need 9 ft from the sidewalls?) For my room this sort of setup is almost impossible, so I'm wondering how you all place your MBL's in your rooms? In most pictures I've seen of MBL's in real live settings it seems like the distance is pretty close to the back wall, maybe 3ft at most. I guess what I'm asking is: Does the quality of sound really degrade that much if I place the speakers at the minimum 2.6ft from the back wall? For WAF considerations, I'd like to be able to place them at that minimum distance if possible.
My entire space is 6 meters wide by 12 meters long, with the living room and dining room each taking up half the space.

Here's a random idea, can I place the speakers in the middle of the space, between my living room and dining room? But I think lower frequencies might suffer because there is no backwall to resonate?

Also, would it be horrible to place amplifiers and the preamp in a cabinet that's built into the wall (there will be proper ventilation - cooling and mesh vents) or is it better to put them on the floor like I usually see the big mono amps? I'd really like to avoid this as I have kids and I don't want them touching the hot amps or tripping over wires... what if I have a bench on top of the amps?

Thanks everyone for any help on the matter! =)
Hlmiii, very interesting regarding the position of the speakers. Learn something new every day, how far off the side walls are yours. What are the pros and cons in doing this.

Regarding the amps you use these a great amps if you read any of my thoughts regarding power for the 101E speakers you will see I fully agree that you do not have to have crazy power, I sold my Cat JL3 mono's and well still undecided what I will go with to replace them I'm making use of some 60 watt mono blocks and absolutely stunned with the sound I'm getting along with anyone who has happened to come over for a listen, not my ideal amps that I would have chosen by far but my MBL's are still singing away with providing the emotion allowing me to enjoy endless music listening.
Hi, Dev -

"What are the pros and cons in doing this."
Pros are user-friendliness - ability to live with two large speakers without making the room unusable for anything else. :)
Cons are giving up a last few percent in audio perfection. You lose a bit in soundstage expansiveness and, possibly, the ultimate in smooth frequency reproduction. But not much. And the 101e's still set out a spooky "you are there" experience.
Mine are away from the side walls about two feet on one side and about two and one-half feet on the other (!).

Interesting that you, too, are well able to live happily with some relatively low power. The DMA-80's are indeed great amps. And in mono configuration they put out a good amount of very clean, smooth power. But ideally the 101e's could use more to really come alive ... and play as loud as I sometimes want. So I have another pair of the 80's which I will use - one unit on mid+tweeter and the other unit on the bass, one each side. That should give me close to 300W per side and allow me to do some real damage ...

BTW - I REALLY like these speakers. :D
Depending on the particular quirks of your room, the "free space room center" you've described might prove to be the best location you can use. The 101s are stunning sounding, but IMHO, they are voiced for very large spaces and often overpower "normal" rooms with their bass output. The mid-room placement you suggest might actually provide a more natural tonal balance than a more traditional set-up. I would certainly give it a shot.