One gripe: I almost feel that the bonus income stuff forces you to play the War exactly how it played out in reality. That’s a bit of a bummer, as I would like to see different scenarios play out.  Oh well.

Yeah, the national objectives are based more or less on historical objectives of the actual war. Think about this though; you had Japan capture Alaska, Italy captured Cairo and Germany conquered Russia without having to face an Allied invasion of France. You DID play it differently from reality.
Plus, believe it or not, a lot of Allied strategies end up being vastly different from the real war. Most successful Allied strategies I have seen involve the US taking out Japan first, then dealing with Germany/Italy. In one game, Germany took London then went on to attack Russia. The US managed to take care of Japan then took Rome and liberated Paris. Germany used so much to take London that they didn’t really have enough to take on the Russians and did very poorly in Russia. Berlin fell to the US and London NEVER GOT LIBERATED!