I have seen the gap removed/replaced on a Clausing and it wasn't pretty. Very obvious on used lathes where you can see evidence of wear at the transition line. I can imagine what it is doing to the carriage surfaces.
Any time something precision is machined as an assembly there are built in stresses as in strains, tensions and compressions that cannot realistically be reset in unison. Small and medium size lathe gap beds are a perfect example of that, but sounds good in the brochure list of features. Larger lathes are not normally used as high precision, but the mass of the bed and gap section do not flex as much either.
Sure, it is going to be slightly weaker, but in some respects if the machine is heavy enough, this also allows you to align the bed to the spindle centerline easier as it is leveled to cut true. Otherwise you will need to pull it down to the floor with anchors.