I've always looked at VP in Eclipse not as "which is the best civilization?" but more as "which is the most memorable civilization?"
You can fight your way to a lead in VP from battle, tech, and discoveries but end up with only two hexes at the end and still win.
Sounds like the bittersweet ending to a grand empire.
Sure but what about the "Take one action" or "Take another move" rep tiles?
The more I think about it the more they make me thing there is an exceptional leader that emerges from the battle and that leader is the one you call on in a time of need to give you an extra action, or the elite star fighter who is such a good shot he can re-roll dice for you.