Hi Mag. I usually don't test for score that early either. I did it this time hoping for something in the range of 300k.
I can use the 240k as a benchmark to beat next game, so there are some advantages to sloppy play.
I nearly always have to go through a rush-buy coloniser phase to fill in the gaps.
Me too, but it's normally later in the game and with only a handful of colony ships. I probably had to colonize over 100 planets this game. I just built the colonizers as I went along for the most part.
Buying ships can be a pain, so I prefer to build them when I can. That might set my score back some, but I think it's worth it to not have to drudge through that kind of tedium. Besides, if it ... Ohh! I see something shiny! Gotta go!