Talk to the guys in the 4EAT forum. They've got all the auto experience.
Not having driven one, I understand it takes a little longer to get spooled up, and you loose a little less than a second in the 1/4. Seeing as how really abusive drivers have a habit of breaking the manual, the 4EAT might be the way to go of you are really rough on 'em.
Welcome to the club!