Thanks for your input; you've got me interested in learning to play the deuce side as a lefty. With the type of serving I face I've always been most comfortable returning from the ad side, but I can really see how it might not work as well against servers who can hit up the T consistently and against aggressive poachers with great anticipation at net. It's not that I don't see some decent serving at 4.0, but the players that can hit serves with pace usually don't have fantastic placement or there is good placement but average pace. I'll also admit that I've been playing a lot of 7.0 and 8.0 mixed dubs lately where there is some 3.0 and 3.5 serving going on...
I have noticed that the Bryan Bros play their forehands to the middle; watched a bunch of vids on Youtube last night after I posted, and I see how that works against strong players. I will definitely have to work on my backhand return to make this work for me, but it seems as if it might be worthwhile in the long run.
As for forehand/backhand volleys in the middle, it still doesn't make much difference to me and I agree with others that have stated that the person with the best play on the ball should take the shot - usually the player closest to the net, as it gives the opponent less time to react depending on their positioning. So yeah, RIP to FTTM