Ahhh, now I see the issue. Yes, that's true - I suppose it's a result of the transmissive LCD. The older cameras you mention have the AF points etched onto the focus screen - they're always 'on' and because of the etching, when illuminated, the light hits them in such a way that pretty much only the selected AF point lights up. With the transmissive LCD, when it's illuminated the selected AF point(s) are 'lit' but to a lesser extent the whole VF glows red. That is a bit distracting, sort of like wearing rose-colored glasses or suffering from a bad hangover.
That glow also mucks with the metering, which is why it turns off after AF lock, and why the AI Servo 'fix' is the illumination blinking on/off rather than steady.
Personally, while the transmissive LCD has some drawbacks, I think those are outweighed by the benefits of AF point display flexibility, on-demand grid display, etc.