I wanted to play Romulan when this game came out, and quit STO for awhile because of it. So yes having Romulans playable is more important. Other Star Trek games let you play as different factions like Armada or SFC3 why not STO.
This is turning into "Romulan Realms", just need a strategy map, and some armies to besiege fortified Starbases, and maybe some arena duels in-between the real fighting, to show off the champions. And possibly some sequence rescuing damsels (with or without long hair) from the other evil domains. The idea is not without merit... Let's see some more sub-factions!
Again, I will take you back to the Captain Marvel example. Marvel cannot stop DC from using Captain Marvel in their comics because that character does not resemble Marvel's character of the same name, even though they are both superheroes.
Yes, the RSE will be there, as an antagonistic NPC faction, just like it was before. We will be getting a replacement faction that acts and looks nothing like it.
Just as a point to make.... I've been following the Romulan news as much as anybody and we don't really KNOW what they're going to do with the Romulan faction. All we know is that currently there is a hippy commune of Romulans that makes up a large portion of end game, and that they're bringing back Denise Crosby to do some voice acting for the next script.
They could be bringing the RSE in as a fully playable faction with tri-directional PVP and the explanation that they are very much at war with both the KDF and Federation. In fact, it would make end game quite a bit easier to program that way because then Romulans could, paradoxically, do the Romulan Republic reputation grind as a way to vie for influence with the RR splinter group.