Personally, geared right, I prefer climbs and descents in a manual. Once the clutch is out, the tires are turning and you can focus on other things. Need a little more wheel speed? Give it a little more gas. The 3.6 has enough torque (well, with a Centerforce clutch for sure) to push up against a wall and have the four tires spinning slowly without stalling.Does it hold back?
I know autos have come a long way and performance-wise they seemed to have pulled ahead in most vehicles. I know guys who complain about shift feel and pedal placement but I've always driven a stick in pretty much every vehicle. I thought it made my 2.5L TJ fun to drive and heel-toeing that thing really felt like an accomplishment lol.
In an auto, you are playing a dance with the throttle, trying to maintain enough pressure to not roll backwards yet not give it to much throttle where the converter catches and you jump forward.