Had a split prism + microprism like probably most people in the later film era. While certainly adequate in most situations, it wasn't quite as informative as the focus peaking is now.
Can't say I saw distance or direction better & not seeing where the objects in the rest of the frame are without putting in serious effort to aim at everything carefully is a downside [all those film era shots with distracting half-focused branches and people on the side of the image; it definitely wasn't just me who often failed in this regard].
And it's more frequently the case that the split prism becomes hard to see. IIRC it got difficult when your lens flared, when it was dark or when the subject was beige-ish? [Has been a long while, I don't even trust my memory on the details.] Either way, I do remember having to guess some shots on almost every day trip.