YOu are going to open much debate on Manual vs. Automatic as far as fuel economy goes...
For me this is my first car with automatic (and I've been driving for 37 years)..
so manual to me is not foreign at all..
I do use automatic most of the time.. but there are many times when manual is better..
When I need to dart accross a busy intersection.. i would rather choose the time to shift then leave in auto where it may decide to shift just when I need the power to get accross traffic..
ANother time, on my way to work each day.. I leave a stop light and 1/2 block later have to climb an overpass.. if I leave it in auto.. it does not know the overpass is comming.. so it shifts all the way up to 5th.. only to have to downshift when I hit the up grade... so I use manual if I know something that the car does not... like a hill is comming..
In city drving.. I know a stop sign is comming up in a hundred feet or so.. the car doesn't... the result is a lot of useless shifting, that I would not do in manual... that contributes to the "jerky" feel many complain about..
lastly.. getting on the interstate.. manual lets you accelerate more quickly (IMHO).. only trouble there is, that once on the interstate... and many miles later when I finally get off.. I mostly forget that I am in manual and that first start after a stop I get reminded