Re: Flattening toms?
My rack tom(s) have gotten progressively more level over the last ten years, to the point where it's now completely parallell to the ground. I'm not sure why it happened, but I'm guessing it has something to do with moving (unconciously) from a somewhat french to a more german-like grip. This move has caused the stick to be much more comfortable hitting a drum that's mounted reasonably (or completely) flat.
I alternate between a tom stand and snare stand. Right now I'm using a tom stand, and I'm liking it, but I'll probably move back to a snare stand again within a year. And then back again. Basically, I keep both stands around and use whichever one I feel like.
My snare and floor toms are about level with my thighs, and my rack tom is probably about 10-20 cm higher (4-8 inches).