When I did the extract version, I used 2 hop bags, one for the hops, one for the peels. (After putting the grapefruit in the first bag, it looked like it might burst at the seams, hence the second bag.)
2 weeks primary,
2 1/2 weeks dry hopping in secondary.
Force carbed in keg.
Strict temperature control the whole time.
The wife and I got a sixer of the original, and we tasted them side-by-side. I'm not great at taking tasting notes, but in the pro brew, we could really taste the grapefruit, and then the hops really complimented the flavor; in the homebrew, it's more like they are competing for attention. The Sculpin is also more aromatic than the homebrew. Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly proud of the homebrew, and I think it compares very well against the original; it may be the best extract kit I've made. I generally roll 3-gallon all-grain batches. I only got the extract kit because I couldn't pass on the summer sale that gave me 3 IPA kits for $20 each. That sale pretty much cured my all-grain snobbery.
To your question; Would it be better without using the hop bags? Maybe; but it's still great even with. Personally, I was thinking it would be better to replace some or all of the dried peel with fresh zest.