Good Evening, Frank,
I agree completely with you and have, in some previous posts, mentioned the same thing. One of the better features of my old Miranda SLR cameras is exactly the front-mounted shutter release you mention. The squeezing action is, to me, far preferable for steadiness. I also use the Koni-Omega MF system which has a similar arrangement on the side-mounted handle and a Yashica-Mat which has a front-mounted release. My Fuji 670 rangefinder goes a step further and has one release on the top and one on the front.
Perhaps it's cheaper, for some reason, to build a camera with a downward-moving shutter release, but I find that approach functionally inferior.