I agree---I've always wondered why the rest of the world didn't learn from their design in this respect. The fSU combined rangefinder-viewfinder was an original design rather than "borrowed", wasn't it?
The Zorki's (at least the ones I have) have amazingly bright rangefinder patches - much easier to see than most modern rangefinders. The movable image is slightly yellow - so it's easier to pick out in a busy image. I don't know if this was an intentional design or if it is an artifact of aging but I find it easier to use than a modern rangefinder.