The Russians aren't stupid, but they do tend to have very similar designs to those that are already in production. The B757 came out a long time before the TU-204 so I would assume that much of the design was copied from the 757.
Demand and Ability. 777 at first was a version of 767. we needed to create twin- engine airliner with the lowest level of noise possible. tail- fixed engines would bee too loud for comfort.. Nothing really left, but to put them under the wings, making it to look like 757 and 767!
WHY, tell me, why, Fokker F-27 and F-50 look like An-24? noone says, that they copied our design, do they???
The TU-144 (I think) was chosen by Nasa because they were sitting around doing nothing
NOTHING? NASA would choose an airplane, that was GROUNDED for 20 years???
it did not sit around- it was about to die, when Nasa decided that it is better, while from logical standpoint Concorde would be better as proven and faultless design. well... where is Concorde? Pounding Skies??? they do not use it because it WORKS? hm..... ok then explain, why NASA used Hard-working airplane- MD-11 for it's PCA project? their production is stopped now! what about Constitution, Used by NASA? same airliner!
would it seem strange not to choose a proven airplane over the one, that sat in Gromov LII for 15 years and rusted? looks pretty damn strange to me!
I think that people, who made that choice had better reasons to use it and that choice well worth the plane!