For the beginner, driving a manual can become a distraction because you have to think about what you are doing.
In my case, auto or manual doesn't matter as I (unconsciously) become the automatic when driving a manual.
Many times I have been on the freeway in 6th gear with absolutely no memory of changing gears.
For a beginner, I agree. What's the learning curve? Two days? Seat time is the most important thing for a beginner. Drive it all day.
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