Blender needs many improvements of viewport display. Highlighting is a good exemple of that.
Except loop-cut, vertex slide, knife, I think that no default modeling tools have overlays.
Blender does not have pre-selection highlighting. But we survive to this situation.
It is not difficult to zoom to a decent focus to distinguish enough components to be sure to select the right one.
Rotation for circle select is a frequent user request. Nobody disagrees that would be better.
I always prefered lasso select to it. It is not modal operator that request a quit action to unlock view navigation.
3 select modes can be active at same time. In fact, it was the way mesh editing was before 2.35 release.
During 2.4X series, number of mesh tools and modifier was increased.
During 2.5x series, because of new UI, focus was on making basic things working in order to test the rest (new animation system…).
During 2.6x series, a new system with supported Ngons, finally newer tools, integration of 2.5x addons as basics …
During 2.7x series, looking how other ones do things, making plans for 2.8x…
Pattern selection was added in blender recently because it was suggested by modo user.
Blender has an old way to do things that can appear tough to a modo user.
But it is not a bad modeling app. Its select menu is not poor.
Selection can be bounded by seams, relative to material indexes or vertex groups.
People expect probably this to be more discoverable with double click instead of L, Shift L, Ctrl L.
Like xrg said it probably needs new design paradigms that scale and it is also an area prisoner of old keymap.