it depends on how heavy of a population your in... for me i live in a rural area and would NOT own a muscle car with an automatic transmission. i hate them with a passion.
if you live with a TON of stop and go.. it's hard not to go auto. but for me they down shift when i don't want. they up shift before i want.. MY first car was a 5 speed manual and i would never own an auto if i had a good choice in the matter.
Heads,Big cam, 4:11, Custom Exhaust, MGW Shifter Baer Eradispeed +2 2 pieces rotors, Hotchkiss swaybars. and a few other little things.
1998 Trans Am A4 ( was STS turbo until the turbo and oil pump died)
2000 WS6 Trans AM under the knife ( sadly turned into long term project.