@BenSCR wrote:"Which is the most accurate way to illustrate a map of Europe."
Buy a satellite and use its data to create a map.
But honestly: Why not use one of the dozens open source maps and recreate a map based on your own requirements?
Do you know of a good open source to get a map. I tried vectormapworld.com yesterday, but wasn't too impressed.
What are your requirements?
Which final format file format and size do you need?
Web or print?
My requirments are to use a map as an image for a background for an Print Infographic on Spitfire aeroplanes. I want to do an illustration of a map in 'Illustrator' and export the image to Photoshop to give it a 1940s look.
Maybe a bit try and error with uncle google?
Get in touch if you need further help.