To start this off, the last three cars I’ve owned have been manual. The car I currently own is manual. By no means am I a perfect manual driver. I still annoyingly mess up from time to time like anybody else does. That isn’t the point though.
Here goes nothing:
I’ve had more fun aggressively driving/being driven in automatic cars. For the most part, they feel quicker off the line and the power feels much more linear. There’s less choice of gear and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you mash the go pedal, you go without having to do anything. Opposed to mashing the go pedal and searching around for the right gear to be in. While it isn’t that hard, it’s still kinda nice to just be able to “go.” Especially when stop signs and red lights litter the suburb that you live in, where being quick off the line is nicer than being able to cruise in one gear the entire time.
Another thing is that when I thrash a manual car, I feel like I’m going to break everything. Even if I’m shifting perfectly. I don’t know why, I can’t explain it. Maybe because I drive VAG products. When I thrash an automatic car, I trust the transmission and ECU to not break everything.
That being said, my next purchase it likely going to be an S3. The DSG system is amazing and they fart when they upshift.