If you want to do anything other than a cultural victory then you can pretty easily skew the game by adopting the new Infinite City Sprawl method, as exemplified by the Diety succession game covered in this CivFanatics thread.
So i decided to try it out for myself, using a large Earth map on Prince difficulty playing as China. China has really awesome abilities, the best non-siege ranged unit in the game i believe, overpowered great generals, and a good improvement to the libraries that you want to be building anyways.
I started in Africa (not a particularly good continent in terms of resources) and managed to get a goodie hut unit upgrade right at the start, and from that start managed to surprise one of AIs while they still had just a single city and take them out, which meant i got the whole continent to myself. I stayed small for quite awhile so i could get some social policies and expanded out into the middle east by conquering a city-state out there. That got everyone pissed off at me despite the fact i did so at the behest of another city-state, and got war declared on me by three of the AI. Luckily i had the unique Chinese Crossbow unit ready by that point and slaughtered their armies. I took one city from Washington before he surrendered, Siam lost a lot of units but no cities, and Germany was completely gutted. So after they all sued for peace i started my ICS expansion.
I ended up going for a science victory (didn't want the hassle of conquering the whole world, even though i probably could have done so with the 8 or so units i had) and between that, the late start on (regular) expansion, and just not being as good as the players in the above thread i did not beat the around turn 200, but instead in turn 370. At the end every turn i was getting 2304 research, 661 gold (with 12713 in the bank) 168 happiness, and 565 culture a turn (at 1313/14970 towards my next goal.) Unfortunately(?) i was in a golden age at the end so i'm not sure what my "normal" economy was.
If i'm counting right i had 51 cities at the end, although 8 of them were puppets.