I always look to get the bonus as quickly as possible. That said, the only time I didn't feel like I was focusing on that too much at the cost of engine acceleration was when I had the factory that turns one worker and one spyrium into 4 VP. With this card I was easily able to get to 8 on the second turn, and kept churning out points steadily such that I didn't need any of the 10/15 VP factories or luxury homes to win.
How were you churning out points "steadily" with that factory? In general you can only use each factory once per turn, with the occasional exception due to Taylorism and the event similar to Taylorism's effect.