Okay, whew, this thread grew up quickly, didn't it?
So, my takeaways from this:
1. "Tactical Zoning" is a really cool idea, and wouldn't be hard to do. I'd definitely show the borders in something other than green, and I agree that the grid on the inside of that might be of limited utility. Let's do without the grid, first, and then see what we think later. I've added this to my list.
I also like Pandemic's addition of the persistent textual display of all the offscreen zone values for the current system. I don't think I would show this just in far zoom (there doesn't seem to be a good reason for this), but rather would just show this all the time, if you happen to be at a place where you can see it. I also don't think there's any reason to erase zones that are on planets you no longer have access to, since the persistent textual display would only work for planets that you are actively at (right?). Or if not, then only at ones where you actually have ships would show data, anyway, but I think it would be too cluttered to show all of these from multiple planets.
2. Designating certain systems as "monitored systems" is also interesting. I take it that this would show warnings on the top left, like the "command stations under attack" thing does now? Technically you can always see what planets are being attacked via that button at the bottom right of the quick-buttons row, but it doesn't pop up the planet names unless you hover over them. Perhaps I should make it so that the monitored planets show their text above that, simply for reasons of space -- I'll have to see how that works out when I'm coding it.
3. Actually, the dual monitor support is something that was on my original feature list, but it eventually fell by the wayside. I really liked that feature in SupCom (I have two monitors), and that was originally something I wanted to do for AI War. It's not actually that hard to do, at least not so much as you might think it would be, but mainly I had let it falter just because I was worried about the impact on the graphics card. However, since I last considered this (way earlier in alpha), a lot of performance tuning has happened. So, I think it will be fine, although it will cause a bit of a graphics performance hit -- probably not as much as SupCom did, though, and it was fine in SupCom so it will also probably be fine here.
Oh, yeah -- the other reason I didn't add this feature before? I knew that if I added it, I would use it all the time. And most players of the game won't have multiple monitors, so if I designed the game around that concept, it might hurt the core experience for other people. Of course, that's very much no longer an issue, but it just reminded me that that was something also holding me back. Anyway, so this is on my list now.