I'll enjoy experimenting with different starts to see which are the most viable. I typically delay expansion while I put in place both the NC and HE. Of course, like everything else, it's situational, but if I have the time, I really prefer this start and then expand like crazy. During this non expansion phase, I try to pick up Representation to reduce the culture hit from expansion. It's worked well to date, and I've expanded as much as 6-7 cities on occassion.