Has there been an effort to improve the default focus styles? I’d be much happier if browser vendors fixed this issue themselves ;-)
I am not certain what side effects you mean when replacing browser defaults. Regardless, I am not advocating replacing them, I am advocating not relying on them.
As for the focus styles coming into play on a mouse click, I disagree that we don’t want that. It depends on the design, the designer, the client, and the user.
I cannot speak to efforts to improve the default focus styles within browsers, but I did find an issue filed against Firefox (linked in the third paragraph). I agree that browsers need to do better.
Totally, 100% agree. My father is visually impaired with macular degeneration and I had to switch him over from Firefox to Chrome just because of this one issue. The dotted line is just too subtle and he definitely cannot see it.