So for people who have autos why did you buy them
I wasn't really bothered to be honest. I just had a run of bad luck with 2 old cheap cars and their engines being unreliable (Megane head gasket and fiat bravo engine seized).
looking for another megane and accidentally stumbled accross the Safrane - The lagunas big brother. I liked the description of it so had a look on youtube for a video of one and found this:
Being a wild gadget fan I fell in love with it instantly. It also uses a Volvo engine - which I instantly knew I wanted as Volvo engines are so reliable and I'd had such a bad run of luck. I've got to admit I was never a real admirer of automatics but then I found a 2ltr safrane at a local dealer and test drove it. It was wonderful (the car itself was going mouldy inside but the ride was stunningly smooth). That was it - I had to have one.
Got the Safrane QuestorX eventually (after hunting for a safrane for a long time) and I've loved it ever since. I wouldn't say I intentionally wanted an auto but now I've experienced it I certainly do enjoy it - especially with stop-start journeys.
Of course now my knees have recently started to play up at the ripe old age of 26 it makes it even easier not having to use the clutch with my left knee which is currently agony!
Must be said autos do make life a lot easier and you can concentrate on driving a lot easier.
Would I prefer an auto for my next car? - Yes without a doubt... but to be honest I'm only interested in (in order of preference) another Safrane, Volvo or Japanese. That isn't to say I would refuse a manual car but I have now been converted.