Matt, whipping out my famous broad brush, I also find that I have certain music and tracks that I listen to when demoing some speakers. Of course this is kind of raw since the speakers are not set up and dialed in. But I look more for the performance of the speaker itself. For example does Diana Krall sound amazing or just ok? Does a piano sound like a real piano? Sax? Trumpet? Then I go into special effects, do they sound bright? Buzzy? concise? Is the speaker straining? Once I have figured out the speaker can do what I want at the volume I want, then I can start to see about all the other subjective issues I might be concerned about. I find as Amir has in his tests, that many speakers can't do all that well at elevated volume levels. Most people just think, oh, wow this is louder and it sounds good. But, does it really?Listening critically is harder at louder levels but you can hear when different speakers do things differently. All this to say I agree with your statement. Oh, and when I leave Best Buy on an occasion, I tell the guy in charge of the audio area, "Hey, some guy in there blew out some tweeters on your speakers". That usually gets them running to the sound rooms! I then quietly walk out.That depends, I think. If you listen to music of varying recording quality it can make sense to see how your favourite music sounds on a potential speaker.
I have some tracks I use that have some dodgy sound elements - for instance an album that is generally well recorded except some exaggeration and bit of coarseness on the female vocals. I like to hear how a speaker handles that kind of thing as it can get unpleasant on certain speakers. Ideally I want a speaker that shows me that characteristic in the recording, but which still allows the tracks to be enjoyable.