You forget that the repository from which you are fetching stuff is local in git. CVS/SVN simply has no concept of remote changes to bring over. And
git checkout -b newbranch is just a convenient shortcut for
git branch newbranch; git checkout newbranch.
Yes, git's command line could be more regular, better thought out. But it sort of grew organically; changing it to something "more logical" (unless it is small step by small step, as is happening) is sadly out of the question (too many fingers know the current commands by now).
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