That's the rub -- in terms of efficiency, performance, or handling, modern automatics beat modern manuals nearly every time. You can be the fastest, most precise driver in the world, doing the most efficient shifting ever seen. You're still not as fast, precise, or efficient as a computer. So really, owning a manual transmission is all about driving experience. Some folks are very attached to that driving experience. Others are less so. My opinion hasn't really changed. I don't find driving a standard overly problematic or bothersome, even in traffic. I don't think driving a standard makes me a better driver. I don't have any sort of delusions that anyone would call my car sporty or quick. Sometimes I'm a bit self-derogatory -- ha ha, Martian is one of those self-important pricks who actually chooses to drive stick in 2018, that kind of thing. But I bought the car because it was a good deal and the transmission didn't factor into it. I will say that after a few years of driving only stick shift which itself came after a few years of rarely driving at all, the one time in recent memory that I drove an automatic the whole experience felt a little off to me. I'm definitely more comfortable with a standard, and when and if I trade in my current vehicle I'll probably look for a stick in the replacement, unless I choose to go electric. So I guess I'm a little attached to it, but just out of familiarity more than anything else.