Bose is all about marketing. Period. That's why the sell quite well. Most folks unknowingly purchase them w/o doing proper comparisons w/ other similar products in the same price range. My first surround system was purchased back in the day as such <vbg>. Live and learn, I say. OTOH, it's a fine unit for a second bedroom/non-primary home theater/entertainment space. But you have discovered in this sense it will not give you the best sound quality by any means. You will require a real 5.1/7.1 system for that. There are some very helpful audiophiles here that can help give more specific recommendations to other speakers/systems that might work better for your needs. 20 foot ceilings require a little more effort to get things right IME .
Regarding pricing, it's generally accepted that the most money should be spent on speakers/sub when building a surround system/home theater.
$800 won't generally cut it, although at that price point, you can get certainly obtain better sound quality from another brand like Paradigm IME and O. You would gain real surround sound at least from an entry level perspective. Check out the Cinema 90-
Last year I purchased a Samsung UN-55B7000. It's the 55" ultra-thin TV. It's fine, but since the sound wasn't great I decided to buy speakers. I bought the Bose CineMate GS Series II. I'm very unhappy with it. Every 5 minutes, I have to replay to understand what's being said, and I have to get within a couple feet of the speakers. It's especially bad on DVD and BluRay. The room I watch it in is quite large, with 20 ft ceilings. But I thought this was a good enough system to handle the room. I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but my blu-ray player is an inexpensive LG that I got for free with the TV. Any input on this would be appreciated. Shouldn't this $800 set of speakers be performing better?