Tedhnically, despite the fact we are playing both the original and the expansion, I don`t believe Sins Of A Solar Empire is finished yet. Until the final expansion comes out, I don`t consider the game to be complete.
With each expansion focussing on and expounding upon a core aspect of the game, I see Sins as a playable work in progress.
That in mind, I find that grand strategic contests might be somewhat rare online. That is to say, based upon what I read and have gathered, I suspect many do not plunder the Savegame multiplayer feature of Sins, as the developers originally had hoped they might.
I wonder if after the third expansion it might be wise to ponder some type of tourney scheme ala Demigod, involving & encouraging more grander online scenarios. Not necessarily gargantuan star systems mind you, simply game types that will definitely take more than a few evenings to play. Offer prizes and/or recognition on an Ironclad website or something.
Not quite sure what this form might be precisely. Anyway, perhaps something to ponder.