Since I first learned how to drive, I have always been a proponent of manual transmissions. Our family car in the 60's was a Chevy sedan with a two-speed "Powerglide" transmission. It was slow and inefficient. It provided only two gears, ate up much of the car's limited power in a primitive torque converter, and it just bugged the hell out of me that when you were sitting at a stoplight, the transmission was always trying to push the car forward. Even a three speed manual ("Three on the Tree") provided better performance, better fuel economy, and allowed use of the cars compression to control speeds on long downhills. Until recently, a well-driven stick shift provided measurably better performance than even a "good" automatic in a sports car, as well as better real-world fuel economy. Again, the stick was superior. I am now fortunate to be able to drive a "state of the art" 8-speed, dual clutch automatic transmission car, and although I still prefer my 6-speed 350Z, I think the rational reasons to drive a stick have basically faded away. The fuel economy advantage of the stick is now almost theoretical. There is very little slip in the transmission, and left in "ECON" mode, the car is almost always in the gear that provides best fuel economy. My car actually shuts down at stoplights (something that I thought would be an irritation, but it turns out not to be), so the savings there is small but undeniable. Performance wise, only a professional driver could match the performance of a modern automatic, especially when running in "SPORT" mode. And you can't ignore the fact that the top-performing Mercedes', Porsche's, Ferrari's, and Jags are all sold with slushboxes, unless the buyer opts out and wants a stick. So again, it is difficult to rationally make the case for a stick. On a road course, I personally would rather choose which ratio to drive in at all times, as opposed to allowing the computer to make that choice. And only the driver knows when he is approaching a hill, so he can get in front of the gear change and not have to wait until the car figures it out (if it actually does). What about re-sale value? Will the used car market four years out shun the Corvette, Porsche, or Beemer that has a stick? What about Gen-X? I grew up with a stick, but they did not. Will any of them even consider a 7-speed Corvette or a 6-speed 911? But I hate to make my own choices based on what "the next guy" might want when I go to sell. All I can say is, I would still never buy a sports car with an automatic. It's like buying a three-wheeled "motorcycle." What's the point?