Assuming sector-space is supposed to be a representation of your ship at warp and assuming that slight adjustments left or right is ok, sector-space is still out of scale. Or rather your ship is way bigger than it should be. Star systems in sector-space also look more like markers on a 3d map, but the fact that ship movement in there is similar to what you would see inside a regular system, this makes sector-space look like a crossbreed between a map and a "realistic" representation.
Removing sector space would not remove zone chat it would just mean that players will hang out at a star base in that sector in stead.
Using the bridge and the interior of your ship while traveling will also give us an incentive to actually use the bridge and perhaps even upgrade it at the c-store...
But removing sector-space would also remove the DSE (deep space encounters). Frankly i have heard nothing but frustration. It seems you are sucked into them when you just want to get your group to a mission and when you want want them they are suddenly gone.
I suggest using a system where players would seek out these encounters rather than have them be random distractions. Perhaps convert the DSE into encounters you can scan for in your astrometrics lab or just random missions from starfleet where you have to go to a location and stop an enemy incursion. The variety of these missions is another story and is something they should look into wether sector-space is ever rewamped or not.