I agree with you - Bianchi.
You have high-lighted my main gripe. Apart from the dimness and semi-obscurity of the exposure scale I have to roll my eye off of the subject to make adjustments.
I am not a software engineer but surely a firmware upgrade could restore the exposure meter scale to the gap at the bottom of the VF in Manual mode.
It seems a good camera has a design problem for manual users.
It's not a gap if you are using Auto ISO. If you have Auto ISO enabled that scale shows your configured Exposure Compensation, as it does in every other mode on the camera. That part of the display is actually your set exposure compensation, not your current exposure. Since the 7D2 can do exposure compensation with Auto ISO in manual mode Canon has made that lower scale represent your configured Auto ISO EC, and thus unified its purpose across all modes of the camera, while the side scale shows the actual meter. I appreciate your point though and maybe Canon can make a custom function to let it be configurable.