I agree. When I started my instrument training in 1979 I thankfully found Ray Clamback and Aminta Hennessy, then at Navair at Bankstown Airport, Sydney Australia. They taught me spatial awareness and a common-sense approach to IFR way before the math that went with the theory required for my exams. It was also way before GPS, and a moving map display was the stuff of dreams and sci-fi movies. We flew many VOR approaches but many more on the NDB, as that was the primary aid back then down under. Mainly I guess as there were so many more of them than VORs. Also sadly was the lack of DME we had, (wierd since it's an Aussie invention).
How things have changed! What remains the same is the terrain, cloud, wind, ice and the pitch black night that tests you better than any flight review ever will. I thank those great instructors every time I fly, particularly when only on the gauges, as that picture in my head is my moving map and I couldn't get rid of it now if I tried.
By the way, if you're interested in instrument training in Australia, they are Clamback & Hennessy, still at Bankstown all these years later, and no doubt even better with the tens of thousands of instrument hours behind them.