.. Hopefully this will help you in your search for ideal effects. But please keep in mind two other things. First, magic, in its purest sense, doesn't happen in the tricks, it happens in the spectator's mind. You seem to grasp the idea that technical skill does not equal astonishment (but it sure doesn't hurt), but the tricks themselves are really only a tool to get at something much deeper. The magic comes from the spectator's mind, and you get this through presentation and rapport.
Second, if your ultimate goal is astonishment, you need to routine for it. Going up to a table and doing three complete mind-blowers in a row is going to be an overload to your audience. A magical act, no matter how short, has rising and falling action leading up to a climax, just like any well written play, book, song or movie. I'll be the first to admit that sponge balls are pretty silly when you think about them, and you're not going to make anyone cry over their magical beauty, but they're fun, and they get good reactions from laypeople. You need to get them warmed up to magic (and to you as a performer) before you hit them with something like Paperclipped.......
yeah.. just like take note of what he said.. besides.. you have a perfect card routine right there...[if you think about it] but i think you're looking for 'impossible effects' like angel and blaine tricks kinda thing.. just my opinion
anyway.. mentalism is as 'impossible' as it gets.. [tho im a cardician really] but if that isn't your type of magic.. then i suggest maybe doing vanishes or penetration type of thing with real objects that you can find in a restaurant..