Remember when they first released romulan boffs in the embassy.They had "too much crtH and crtD" .After few weeks (enough time to let people waste their money on) they nerfed them because "people stacked too much crit chance and it was no longer a chance to crit".
now we have romulans with over 21 crtH and tac consoles with 1.6 crtH each....and romulan embassy boffs (tac male ones) were considered OP after people spent their money (or grinded) for them.
A rom in a box ship beats a fed in a box ship, no power loss, no sing core. The 2-3 extra boffs with sro alone beat out non roms. The captain passive trait is merely icing on the cake. A Rom can use any boff in the game, even more with access to t4 diplo/marauder pirate/leaderships.
Saying that it doesn't matter because a random statistic of people that you pulled out of your ass don't fly box ships doesn't make it any less true, and that's where the real issue is. Not to mention that the real roms boffs have both sub and sro, meaning you get both the def and the crit, while embassy boffs have either one or the other, and only the def for sci/eng.
Romulans have the best ships in the game, no other ship can do as well as the scimitar for raw dps. The Fleet dhelan is comparable to the bug, the tvaro makes a great torpboat, the arkif will make a good hec. They're all great 5 tac console ships and guess what they all got romulan battle cloaks to go with it.
Honestly if you think that -40 power is somehow that much of a gimp that makes Romulans balanced with fed/kdf, learn to play. -40 power is a joke for what they get in return. I'm not even sure how butchered a build would have to be to make that even important.
-40 can make all the world of difference between whether you wp/sp/ep/ap have plenty of power to aid you. Most go for high wp that is a given, but high sp grants dmg resistance, high ep grants additional defense, high ap aids in virtually every form of heal, so yeah 40 power is 40 power on tap never missing can help a lot.