Be Honest: Automatic or Manual?

Or paddles? Or even, a CVT. Think I'm nuts? Aaron Gold thinks continuously variable boxes are the bee knees. But he also likes buses with crashboxes, so... In theory at least, we wold love to find a flappy paddle tranny that works. Only, we can't. So that leaves the choice of a slushbox or self-actuated cog-swapper. The best autobox I've ever driven is the 7-speed masterpiece found in contemporary Mercedes. And while it's without question superlative, for me personally the only question is which manual transmission? I'm stuck between the RS4's fire und brimstone unit and the sublime perfection of the MX5 Miata's. Tough choice, but I think I have to go with the Mazda. You?