Double clutching and a well matched rev makes getting into 1st from a roll relatively easy.
Subaru's aren't alone with 1st gear "lock out" either. My 96 Maxima 5MT was like this as was my 90 CRX Si. Every G35 and Nissan Z 6MT I've driven is the same way as well.
My Maxima and CRX were pretty notchy as well, much like my WRX. My CRX was surprising since it was a cable shifter and not a direct linkage. The 6MT on the G/Z is really notchy, almost resistant going into some gears.
If you want a buttery smooth shifter, you'll need to go looking for FWD cars with cable shifters. Most every FWD Honda and VW has super smooth shifting. It's also disconnected as hell too.