I am not a stickler for proper yeast count, my goal is to get it in the range. With that said, I do make starters and try and hit the general number proposed by many calculators. So take my advice with a grain of salt.
I always pop it. First off, it allows you to be sure that the yeast inside are still alive and ready to work. Second off, its so satisfying to smack that little thing. The worst thing is having a little extra yeast ready and willing.