It used to be so easy: Manuals were for real drivers, automatics were for lame-os.
It used to be so easy: Manuals were for real drivers, automatics were for lame-os. Now we've got dual-clutch gearboxes that drive like automatics (scads), wet-clutch automatics that can tach up from a standing start like a manual (Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG), and manuals where a computer heel-and-toes for you (Nissan 370Z). The debate is less about performance - the Porsche 911 Turbo does 0 to 60 mph quicker with an auto than it does with a manual - and more about control. Sure, automatics execute rev-matched downshifts, and dual-clutch boxes may be faster around a track than manuals, but neither allows the driver complete control. And that's all the manual has left, really.
Photo Gallery: Automatic vs Manual - Great Rivalries - Automobile Magazine