What I dislike about most 4X games is that mandatory expansionist mentality. Take all faster = win. Leaving the unlucky players that spawned in less expansible territories to their inevitable doom. Spawning on a stranded islands in Civilization calls for a restart.
I'm trying to fight that mentality in my own 4X game by balancing quantity and quality. A higher developed sectors will yield as much benefits as several underdeveloped sectors. In the end, having more undeveloped sectors might be too risky as they will be much easier to lose.