Once you move away from headphones (or earspeakers like the K1000), then the listening environment comes into play.
Much as I love my nice headphone setup, the soundstage thrown by an appropriately set up speaker rig, in a well done listening room is a whole different animal.
That being said, I find a better sound stage from my near fields in front of me, about 3 feet away, with or without toe in. The computer monitor in between them, and the hard surface of my desk are definate no-no's in the "listening room" setup. I occasionally push the monitor back, and put down some dampening materials on the desk (ok, my desk gets messy) and the sound is superb with my t-amp and full range speakers.
I agree that in the nearfield situation, speaker component offset is much more of a factor than when the speakers are 12 feet away.
In answer to the OP initial post - making nearfield speakers into "ear speakers" probably can be made to sound "good", but the sound field will suffer, and the benefits of a good speaker setup is lost. Unlike headphones, which will work like this, you can't move your head much in your proposed setup.