The Harrier is designed around its rather large centerline engine with its 4 non-standard exhaust ports. In order to balance properly, the engine's nozzles have to be in just the right place and we can't have annoyances like landing gear doors opening just before landing and deflecting the thrust stream that is keeping the thing in the air.
Fighter jet wings are typically too thin to fold the gear into them like on some airliners (and the bombs / missiles get in the way too).
So, the gear gets to fold up into the space just behind the aft nozzles where it doesn't disturb anything important. In almost every other jet fighter the engine occupies this space instead. Yes, tricycle gear makes for easier landings but as this plane is designed to land straight down that isn't a big issue. And we tend not to put green pilots into the things either so if they do need a regular runway the driver should be fairly good.