I'm well aware that Sailor V came about before the Sailor Moon franchise and thus we have a bit of retcon (perhaps a reboot?) of the Sailor V franchise in relation to Sailor Moon. That said,I honestly think that Naoko intended to go in a completely different direction with the Sailor Moon franchise initially, but that as the story evolved it became less feasible to return to that original story.
I get that Queen Serenity altered Luna's memories, but I still have a hard time grappling with her willingly allowing Luna to place the reincarnate Serenity in harm's way. She obviously knew that she'd reawaken to her identity as Princess Serenity at some point, but in the mean time she placed her reincarnate self in harm's way?
Sure Minako was acting as a decoy Princess, but what if one of the enemies decided to finish Usagi off before she awoke as Serenity? Of course this is fiction and thus we know that that wouldn't happen, but for argument's sake let's just assume that it were possible. Would the Silver Crystal necessarily manifest itself, or would it take her out?
I have to admit that we never quite get an explanation for her surviving her suicide, and Mamoru evading the blade via the agency of the Shitennou stones. I always found that to be just a bit too awkward and convenient storywise. Perhaps they were meant to die so as to see themselves once more in spirit form, to then sacrifice themselves so as to allow Usagi and Mamoru to live normal lives? I actually think that that would have been more romantic, and would have allowed more tension in the series as Usagi and Mamoru elected to be together on the basis of their own choice, and less because of living out their past lives anew.
I also think that it would have been better had the first Sailor Moon manga chapter focused on Sailor V's quest for the Moon princess, with Usagi being revealed towards the end. In short, have Minako occupy the position of Usagi throughout the series, and then later focus on the development of Usagi as Sailor Moon.