While true. In suburban Chicagoland, the only fun places are the interstates. Not I90 between Elgin and Chicago but, otherwise, fantastic. Especially when cook county sheriffs pass you with no lights on as if you're standing still despite you yourself doing 75-80mph.
My first two cars were automatics. Once I learned to drive a manual, I never looked back and at 27 I don't see myself getting an auto any time soon (unless it's a pickup truck). In fact, I bought a luxury daily driver sedan recently and it's a manual.
I have never driven an automatic... but I'm rather sure the next family car will have one. I don't enjoy operating the manual in slow ass traffic and when everything is smooth on the Autobahn, I'm in sixth all the time anyway.
My first two automatics were non-adaptive four-speed jobs. They were electronic though which meant they had a selectable Sports/Economy mode that moved the shift points. Sport made it revvy and annoying unless you were in "that mood" so I drove it in Economy most of the time. I usually "shifted" them manually by managing the throttle. You knew how much throttle you could give it coming out of a street corner to make it stick to the gear instead of downshifting, etc. That is, unless I had that annoying friend on board that liked to put it in Sport mode for me when I wasn't looking.
Nowadays, I just don't care. It swaps cogs one after the other and 10 seconds after the traffic light I'm in 6th or 7th already. And for a daily driver I very much like it that way.
Since my job is driving (mostly) manual buses with heavy clutches around in stop/start city traffic all day, you'd think I'd be all for an auto in my car. I still enjoy my manual, I don't regret buying it, (even if it did just cost me many, many monies to have replaced).
I guess one day my knees and ankles will start to ache all the time, and I'll want an auto to totter down to the shops and back, but that time is not now.
Though if someone were to give me an auto F6 Typhoon, or, GTS86 with the flappy paddle auto, I wouldn't say no.