I don’t accept the premise of the idea. Your Civic, if I recall, is quite old in automotive years. I maintain that in current, modern-day cars, there are no temp gauges that accurately and reliably warn the driver of minor variations in operating temperatures or pressures so as to make them significantly useful. Gauges have become more decorative than useful when it comes to informing the driver of minor variations in engine conditions.
I also think you’re giving the general motoring public more credit than they deserve when it comes to monitoring gauges. Sure, you picked out a failing head gasket by noticing a slight increase in engine temp. Honestly, how many other people would?
Last month a customer was grumbling about the cost to have a no-start condition on her car diagnosed. She felt the $100 diag fee was excessive when, after the diagnosis, we repaired the car for $10. I handed off the customer to my service writer. What I really wanted to say was that “If your fuel gauge reads low, then your low fuel light comes on, then the car quits, then you call a tow truck, you deserve to pay a lot more than $100 to get your car running again.”