But in fact if you play around with it & pixel peep I think you'll find that up to about ISO800 or ISO1600 (depending on the camera of course, for modern Canons it's usually around 800 for crop & 1600 for FF) it's actually beneficial to do what you're saying i.e. boost the ISO to get better sensitivity for ETTR. Until the camera starts doing more linear amplification (which causes DR to drop above those ISOs), capturing more photons is better.
Unfortunately, Canon's performance curves are "normal" when it comes to signal to noise ratio from base ISO up. SNR decreases proportionally with increase in ISO.
So ETTR at mid ISO doesn't have much of a loss of DR but SNR drops noticeably. Still, an effective method.. of sorts. I'd prefer an uncompromised camera.
If by normal you mean about the same as Nikon I would agree with you. (why do I get the sneaky feeling you may not agree with me )
I expect some people will "pixel peep" at the graphs and say "mines better at XYZ" but I think any reasonable person would say those are all great camera's