Bottom line: Pro mixing guys are good! DAMN GOOD! So don't think for a second that your mixes aren't blowing peoples brains apart simply because your room isn't good enough. Bob Clearmountain, the Lord-Alge brothers, etc etc could destroy you (and me) by mixing on a set of laptop speakers. The big boys have a tremendous understanding of squeezing maximum energy out of audio. While the room is usually a problem, a bigger problem is probably our lack of mixing skills.
My mixes have improved dramatically over the years and I attribute none of this to control room acoustic treatment. It's all been because I've gotten better at mixing. I've learned a zillion about using compressors, automation, reverb, delay etc and, most importantly, I've learned how I need to listen to my monitors.
I mean that the sound coming out of my monitors seams alright and even good. However, I know from experience that my mixes should sound a little thin on my studio monitors to avoid mud and/or boxiness. If I pop in major label cds, it's often clear that they sound way more alive than my mixes on my studio monitors. Because major label cds sound clearly different than my monitors, it's tough to 100% blame my monitors and room for my problems. The major label cds tell me what I need to shoot for.
This article describes my experience at Backstage Studios in Nashville. The room and the monitors did not impress me a bit as far as their ability to translate mixes even though the room was still state of the art. This is evidence to me that even the big boys in the big rooms struggle with sound translating. While they are probably better at it than the average home recording idiot, translation is always an issue.
This little blog discusses the notion of temporarily using an EQ on your 2Bus to compensate for your brain's mixing flaws. It has worked pretty well for me!
Here are some articles that should help get you closer to mixing like a badass.