Indeed. One reason I still have respect for Ford is they recognize that real drivers cars like the ST, RS and high end Mustangs can only really be enjoyed with a manual.ST is the only car you see out there and be sure it's a stick. You see more GTI's becuase it's offered in auto.
It's not about which is faster. It's about being engaged in the driving experience, and having control over the car.I don't really think that Ford would get rid of the manual transmission option in the ST's since it is marketed as a "driver's car." That being said, I'm not sure where the whole stigma around automatic transmissions come from. A good auto will beat a manual transmission every time and it allows you to keep both hands on the wheel at all times.
Let us know how it goes!