personally i don't notice it much. I've got 2 manuals (87 samurai and 96 Jetta) and an automatic (2016 honda accord). the "nice" automatic is for getting places and not thinking about it. it's a tool, which i have zero love for and can rely on almost unconditionally.
the samurai is a toy, it goes offroad whenever i can, which is not enough, but in those situations having manual is pretty great, not so much from the gear selection but ust having the manual clutch, being able to disengage the drive is more effective control as it's sliding around in mud or snow than trying to use the brakes and gas. it's a really useful additional control point.
but the jetta is just a spare car. i use it for the same unenthused getting between places. it's a manual and i think about it roughly none. i just drive it, never feel like the shifting is a chore nor extra entertainment. maybe the only time i even think about it is trying to find reverse, the shifter mechanism has some worn out links, i've replaced the bad parts but it still takes a few seconds to get it over into reverse.
TLDR, to me there's some times manual is really useful, namely in offroady toys. or whatever toys too probably, like a track car or weekend fuckoff shitbox whatever. but ther rest of the time, it's meh. whatever, whichever. sorry