my very first stickshift... driving home from the dealer was awesome during a Friday rush hour on 270 & the Beltway near DC. My stickshift-driving friend in the passenger seat was kept highly entertained; she spent most of the trip either laughing her head off or screaming "CLUTCH!!" at me. Musta stalled half a dozen times.
and due to 1-2 grinding 'cuz of screwed-up synchros, they replaced the entire transmission last October at 10k, so I got a brand new clutch in place of the one I learned to drive on. woo hoo!
Manual, bcoz I prefer to drive manuals. I have never driven an auto XD, so I'm a little biased towards the manual. Hyundai Australia's latest promotion is selling Elantra's with free auto's. But everytime I get my XD serviced at the local dealership, they always give me a manual loaner. I was offered an auto loaner once, and I said 'Now P is for park, R is for reverse, is D for DAMN FAST?' The salesman looked at me, and said 'Maybe you'd be better off with the workshop ute instead.'