Why the dial??
Everyone understands "righty tighty, lefty loosey" or words to that effect. You "wound" up the dial and it "unwound" (making the pulses as it went). The dial digit is the number of pulses (except in New Zealand) that the dial produces (but in order to make a zero, it needed to make 10). That gives the dial arrangement (the researchers at Bell Labs did a bunch of work on this!). Then they wanted user touch pads to be used. These started in the 60's. When faced with determining the layout, they looked back at the dial phone which had '1' at the top and went from there.
The adding machine layout (and that of modern keyboards) is more oriented to arithmetic, where the frequency of numbers is related to the inverse log of the digit (1 being used most often!). This led to the low digits being at the bottom where it took less effort to reach.
Yes, the old dial sets are nice, and most of the modern phones from the $10 throw-away ones to the most expensive ones (portable sets) have a switch that will allow generation of a pulse stream.
It is important to note that it takes less hardware to implement a pulse decoder (the loop current sensor is already there!), so that is what they used. It also lends itself to mechanical (relay) decoding. A modern dial (DTMF) decoder is not (thankfully) either a single chip, or some DSP software, which is pretty easy to implement, but this wasn't always the case. Back when it was first introduced, a DTMF decoder was a big bulky thing that could take up to a 1 foot cube of electronics. In those days the phone company charged for the nice decoding privilege. Now days the use of tone dials is encouraged since it takes LESS time to decode where you are going to be switched to (need less decoders as a shared resource). All of this leads to quicker completion times, and less "non-chargable" (the other side hasn't picked up yet) time equipment is busy.
Bottom line: Dial phones are "cool" and quaint. (somewhere I've got a 300 set!).