If it were my site, I wouldn't delete them unless I was pretty sure they were the main cause of the problem. And even if I decided to delete them, I would do it gradually.
Yeah, that worries me. I would instantly loose page rank overnight.
The thing that worries me though is that the EXIT rate of my ecommerce pages is probably higher due to people who go to an article page, click on a photo which takes them to the ecommerce pages, and then decide to leave the site (since they have no intent to buy anything anyway).
Since I seem completely unable to monetize those article pages, and since I can't figure out other reasons for the Panda demotion, I wonder what I have to lose?
(of course with my luck, it is probably something unrelated to the article pages, so if I were to jettison them, I would probably lose all page rank AND still be Panda bitten.)