Every industry review of these cars that I read prior to purchase said quite clearly that the Focus is a great car, save for two (optional)things; MyFord Touch, and the "automatic" trans. That said, the "automatic" isn't nearly as bad as it's made out to be. It does drive differently than a typical automatic(because it's really a clutchless manual), so you have to drive the car accordingly. Once you learn it's habits(and it breaks in a bit), it's actually pretty good.
Where Ford may have erred was in offering this transmission on an entry-level car. They probably should have left the technology for something a little higher up the model lineup, like the Fusion, and offered a "normal" automatic in the Focus. I have driven both the 5-speed Focus and the "automatic" extensively, and I can say that my only real complaint about the 2-pedal setup is that it is not available with a proper paddle shift setup for manual shift control, ala VW's DSG. The "hill descent" button on the SE models is pretty useless, as you can't use it in conjunction with the brake pedal without shifting the car down too many gears and sending the RPMs into an uncomfortable place for a long hill descent. However, this is a programming issue that should be easy for Ford to rectify.
That said, the gear ratios and final drive are better suited to the engine's powerband than the 5-speed manual, which is definitely geared towards economy.
So Ford, if you're listening: Full manual control with flappy paddles on the steering wheel, and proper sequential shift option on the gear lever. Cheers.
2012 Focus SE 5dr