The enjoyment I get out of using a manual transmission overshadows the benefits of being a few tenths of a second faster at accelerating in a car that's already more powerful than necessary.
Both of us (Rizzydee and myself) said we enjoy manual transmissions. That said, if there's a performance car that I'm interested in, and it doesn't have the option of a manual transmission, I personally don't exclude it from consideration. If that's a line in the sand you've drawn, I think everyone here supports your right to do so, but won't necessarily do the same.
I bought a GT-R two years ago. It's an automatic with paddle shifters. It's heavy for a sports car (or whatever you'd care to classify it as). It's sort of a normal car if you want it to be, with a nice interior and easy ingress/egress. It can also be very fast if needed, especially if you push a few buttons. It violates two of my normal preferences, a manual transmission and light weight. Despite that it's a great car. 565HP stock, titanium exhaust, AWD, forged Rays wheels, hand-built twin turbo V6, huge Brembo brakes, customized gauges, blah, blah.
My previous vehicle was a C7, with a 7-speed manual. The 8-speed automatic is faster, but I chose the 7-speed as it wasn't problematic with regards to overheating, usually under extreme conditions (canyons/track). It had the rev-matching feature, which you could disable. GM stated the 7-speed manual was the only transmission that was deemed track capable. If the automatic didn't have issues, I would have considered it.
I have a Tacoma (automatic), GT-R (automatic), Exige S (manual) and 3 motorcycles. The motorcycles have blippers from the factory, so the clutch is only needed for starting and shifting into neutral.
I don't really get it. Gaining a few tenths of a second between gears but losing the pleasure of being more connected with the car 99% of the time? Even if it's a full second faster in 0-80. On a commute or a pleasure drive I probably shift a hundred times. The number of times where I push the car to its limits such that I'd notice fractional improvements in performance are very few and far between. I'd have to be on a track to really need it, or in a street race.
Don't people experience the pleasure of a well-matched downshift or the enjoyable challenge of braking, shifting, matching revs, and steering during a nice curve? You feel the car's power transferred exactly as you command it, in a way that requires more skill and finesse than letting a computer do it for you. If you screw it up it's on you--do better next time, the car says.
Throwing away your manual transmission? Hell, why not drive a Tesla at that point?
A manual can be very pleasing, but there are times when it's not. Stop and go traffic, where you're literally only ever reaching 5-15mph before braking for an hour or two isn't fun. There are also times when a manual isn't an option.
I was working late on my birthday to meet a deadline. I came home and was returning calls to well-wishers. Slipped on a step taking the dog out and tore my left quadricep. I was able to get to work the next day in my Tacoma. Even when I had the left leg in an immobilizer cast I was able to commute to work. It took a couple of months before I could safely drive a manual transmission.
Throwing away a manual transmission isn't really applicable, as we're simply talking about considering vehicles that aren't available with manual transmissions. It doesn't relegate us to a Tesla either. There are plenty of high-end cars that are only available with an automatic.
Demand for manual transmissions has been waning for a long time in the US. The links below are from 2018, but the trend towards automatics continues. Less than 3%, closer to 2% of cars sold in the US have manual transmissions.
I learned to drive a manual on the farm, when I was big enough to reach the pedals of a tractor. Most of America's youth don't possess the skill of driving a manual, nor the desire. It is what it is. I think when/if I sell my Exige S it will be because I have to, probably because I physically can't drive it, or some unforeseen situation presents itself.