Going to agree with OP that the design is overall not user friendly, however the Germans are not immune as my '06 Jetta 2.5 had a similar cartridge system accessed from underneath that caused spillage. The TDI's had a top mount cartridge that was no mess, same with most if not all BMW's and Mercedes.
My '03 Golf TDI, '09 MB C300 and now my '11 MB E350 all have top mount filters where when you unscrew the cap it opens the anti-drainback valve and drains the filter housing down to the pan as soon as you have the cap loose. My process was to just get the housing fully unscrewed and leave it sitting for a few minutes for the filter and housing to drip a little bit longer. Makes refilling the oil easier too as you had this massive filter housing to pour oil into that drains pretty rapidly into the pan, never used the oil fill neck except for topping off.