A multiple flash setup is exactly what I have in mind Dan, only since I don't have a wife/girlfriend eliminator and since my girlfriend's fidgeting scares away the bugs anyway, I am trying a two flash setup.
The idea is to have two flashes either side of the lens - the smaller flash, an SB-18 without adjustable outputs will light the subject while the other, a SB-28, will be aimed at the background. It's power will be adjusted depending on the distance of the background. I am also hoping that if I put the SB28 on wide angle, it'll spill enough light sideways to act like a kind of fill-flash to balance the SB18's light.
PS: My pic was a standard dewy damsel shot that is in my PN portfolio as well, the kind Arnab takes - so you know what I mean about popping a light tent on it - I'd have a damsel in quite a bit of distress