The main thing you've missed is that the D70 was not an entry level model when it was current. It was a mid-level enthusiast model that has evolved into the current D7100 which does offer dual control dials and top of body LCD. At the time the D70 was comparable to the mid-level Canon 20D and 30D, not the entry level Canon Rebel series.
Although Canon had revolutionized the DSLR landscape and made it consumer friendly when it introduced the entry level Digital Rebel (300D) in late 2003, Nikon had no "entry level" digital body on the market at the time the D70/D70s was sold between early 2004 and mid 2006 when the D80 replaced them. Nikon's first entry level DSLR, the D40, wasn't introduced until late 2006.
Scroll to the bottom of the following Wikipedia entries to see a time line of the respective brand's offerings.
Comparison of Nikon DSLR cameras
Comparison of Canon DSLR cameras