I do not call that an improvement because never liked that chrome did not have a status bar at he bottom of the page.
Can't tell anything about Chrome which I never tested and probably never will so.
However it probably depends much on how we are used to use the browser.
At the time I discovered K-Meleon, Opera Presto was my main browser (I'm still using it for certain tasks).
Opera Presto has a status bar which I never had use for. So it is disabled (waste of space no matter how big your screen is).
Aside the status bar it also has a progress bar which pops up only if needed (if set so) and gives you useful information during site load (number of elements, speed, loading time, connections). As for hovering over a link the respective address will pop up in a small rectangle.
It is something native I have missed in any other browser (K-Meleon and Firefox included).
I have the status bar of K-Meleon inabled only for hovering links and to see the connection status. No big deal for me (I wouldn't install an extra extension therefore) but those tasks could be shown as a pop-up as well. I can't see any disadvantages compared to Firefox.
With Firefox one off the most popular extensions is called Status-4-Evar which add a permanent status bar to the bottom of the page.
I never tried Status-4-Evar but looking at the pics it seems a quite useless addition to me.