Wow, I'd prefer to the author of the map rather than an influence! I really like the texture you've used for the forests although I'm not sure if the distribution is believable - maybe it's just the way the forest is distributed that you find uncomfortable rather than the texture itself?
I ran into this problem with the Absalon map. By using trial and error I found a good way to get a believeable distribution was to use an 'HSB jiggle' filter which basically gave 'lumps' of varying sizes which I then used as a mask, if you add a mask of the coastline to this, you get the added benefit of having part of the forest exactly following your coastlines which is great for adding credibility. The real pain was finding a solution to overlaying forests onto mountains so it looked like the forest was following the curves of the landscape - I notice you've stopped the forest line at the mountains (wise decision!). I'll post up a copy of the mask I used tonight. Remind me if I forget!
In terms of which I like better - at full zoom, I like the colour one better, but zoomed out I prefer the black and white one as the textures seem to work a lot better when seen at a distance.
I think you've come up with a beautiful signature style there, Torq!