I've only had my Focus for five months, so I can't report on clutch life for this particular car. But my previous car was also a Ford product with a standard tranny ('01 Cougar), and I didn't need a clutch until a bit past 190,000 mi. in that car.
The car shifts very nicely. Throws are positive and reasonably short. I haven't grinded gears once. Clutch is very light and forgiving. My only beef is an issue I have with all new cars: First and second are geared way too tall. I'm sure the car gets an extra 0.5 MPG because of this, but I'd prefer not to have to shift to first for a rolling start.
And in terms of keeping warm, the seat heaters are pretty amazing. I never thought I liked them until I had them in my own car. You'll be nice and toasty before the temp gauge needle even budges.