My process of learning how to drive manual started when I was about 16, on my dads 1993 Miata. It also stopped there, for a while, at least. He sold the car shortly after and I had only gotten a few lessons in. I still didn't really know how to drive a manual, only how to stall one.
It looked almost exatly like this, except the chrome was peeling from the wheels
My access to a car with a manual gearbox was severely limited (read nonexistent) till my brother purchased a used Posher Boxter. He was understandably reluctant, in letting me drive it, but after a fair amount nagging, he did. I was able to get to the point where I was able to drive it around pretty competently, but my hill starts still weren't perfect. He then moved out of the house, and I didn't drive anything manual for about a year. By this point my brother has also bought a brand new Evo X. I SOOOO wanted to drive that car.
Look at it, It's mocking me.
I got my chance a few months ago, but after stalling it out a few times in a row, my drive was cut to just up and down the neighborhood. I didn't get much out of that drive other than 1. Its fast (in 1st gear) and 2. The seats are pretty awesome. Today though. I finally got to drive it for real. I now know the reason people worship this car.
These seats were not built for fat people.
It actually surprised me about how good it was, and I was expecting it to be good. The seats (as mentioned above) were actually perfect for my thin frame. Being as thin as I am, most seats are just to big. The seats in my I35 for example, seem like they were made to fit someone more than twice my size. Now on to the steering and handling. Everything is just super tight, it responds to even the slightest inputs. There is absolutely no body roll either. I'm just not used to inputs that direct. With my Infiniti, vigorously turning the wheel results in as much lean as as it does actual steering.
And the BOOST. With my Infiniti, there is a lag between hitting the gas and actual going (usually not that quickly). Most of that is probably due to the 4 speed slushbox. In the Evo, you hit the gas and you go, and a second after that you GO. Boy, I love boost. (and a manual transmission) I learned to love it in my old Volvo s40, and this drive today has just reinforced that a thousand times.
Mitsubishi has just announced that they will only be building these cars for another year. Buy one, lease one, or
steal one borrow one, before they are all taken, beaten up, modified, or crashed. Because you don't want to miss your chance to drive one of these things.