I don't exactly fit your qualification to answer this thread, as I actually went with a manual in the V. But, I'll offer up my (325 mile) experience, so far. Take it for what it's worth (probably less than you paid for it.. )So what are peoples thoughts
I simply can't imagine driving a sports, or sporty, or GT car without a manual. And that goes doubly for the V. I know GM spent an enormous amount of time tuning the auto in the V, and I know it's a damned good transmission. But, at the end of the day, it's a push-button-to-shift transmission, and to me there's just something... missing.. from it. Like the third pedal.
I just got back from a 200 mile trip through the Shenendoahs, in VA. A good portion of my trip was on VA Rt. 211, which is, in my opinion, one of the finest roads in this entire state. Once it hits the mountains (which it does, twice) it becomes a very twisty snake: some corners are literally greater than 180 degrees, perfectly banked, etc. Three lanes of traffic: 2 up hill, and 1 down.
Now, I'm still in my break-in section, so I kept the gears high (5th and 6th up the mountains... imagine that..) and the revs low. Even so, the car behaved perfectly, and I never once thought, "Gee, this would be so much MORE enjoyable with an automatic."
In fact, if that thought ever actually enters my mind, I'm going to have a short discussion with my shotgun!
The manual in this car is perfect. I do wish 6th was a lot taller, but that's not what your asking about. It shifts smoothly and cleanly, the clutch effort is nearly non-existent, and I actually did experiment a couple of times with light-throttle no-lift-shifts.... it works.
I say: go manual. Wait for one to be available, or hell, ORDER one!