From what I've gathered, map game is important. I have experience RPing in both GR and GA, and their view of the map game is radically different.
I have no idea how GR decides on which planet is dominion-ed, but from what I see on the map, they are not very good at playing the map game, since they are about to lose the same bunch of planets for the second time. In a strategic sense, having long arms is bad, which results in thin sphere of influence where planets are exposed to invasions. Nobody in their right mind conquers space like that.
I can only imagine how stupid people feel after posting like maniacs in dominions and then loosing a number of planets due to one bad strategic decision. This is a reoccurence in GR for some reason, regardless of leadership. This naivety baffles me every time.
Thankfully, GA leadership was very open to suggestions from members who suggested planets, while posting possible gains in resources and strategic justification for each dominion. Of course, shape of GA is far from optimal, but the faction was placed in area with lower density of planets, so we had to place planets on the map to have something to conquer. Unfortunately, there was much drama over some other things and activity dwindled, but I enjoyed group planning there.
IMHO, the map game and playing the map game shows prowess of leadership of each faction. IC leadership means you give your faction some direction. So, if you are an IC leader of faction, it actually means you make the game interesting for other people, not yourself. It's actually more work than title-obsessed individuals might think.
So yes, I think the map should stay, as a reminder of previous bad decisions and constraints.