We played a 5 player game last night which we laid out semi-randomly, like this:
Wainwright | Tavern | Gemstone Dealer | Fruit Warehouse | Tea House
Spice Warehouse | Large Market | Fountain | Roasting Plant | Great Mosque
Small Mosque | Police Station | Post Office | Fabric Warehouse | Carvansary
Black Market | Coffee House | Sultan's Palace | Small Market | Guild Hall
The "semi-random" setup was essentially a full shuffle of the tiles except the Fountain, then dealing them out left to right, top to bottom, and dropping the Fountain in the middle.
Next I wanted the Tea House and Black Market in opposite corners, and wanted the Small Mosque to be away from the Tea House (I think it could have been more central between the two dice-based locations, but I always seem to see people favor the red Mosque tile alongside Tea House's income as a strategy, so I hamstrung it a bit).
Finally I put the Guild Hall in a corner, since some of those powers are incredibly valuable and I wanted to make people to out of their way for them if they wanted them. Probably could have pulled it inward on space and been fine. Only one player took the time to go there and he didn't get anything particularly useful.
All in all I enjoyed the setup for sure, but think it could have been better still. Semi-random I think is a good way to go with bigger groups; fully random can work just fine with a smaller player count, especially with experienced players.