Andy, I can feel for ya with your concern of cutting up your hardwood floors, and think it's justified, given the labor costs involved with repairing them back to serviceable conditions. I haven't seen anyone touch on this idea yet, but maybe it would pertain to your situation. Not sure of your home construction, but my house is a little older, (balloon constructed), and the floor joists are sitting "on" the sills in the cellar. This leaves an opening from the cellar ceiling between each studded bay. (When the house had blown in wall insulation many yrs ago, each opening had to be closed off, or boarded up, to keep the insulation from falling thru).Anyway, one of my kitchen walls has a boxed duct, that fits between the studs, and is the heat register for my forced hot air system. if you could utilize one of these wall ducts open to your basement ceiling, it would prevent you from having to cut your floors. You may have to get creative gaining access to fit one or more of these wall boxes, but if it would keep your hardwood floors intact, it may be worth the effort. Sheet- rock is easier to repair than hardwood floors. Just a thought.