It depends all on a person's preferances. The main differance is that in the US we don't have that e-shift. Dammit, I'm jealous!
Since we don't have that here people get more control of the engine and shifting (lift!) and all that stuff versus having an auto.
I have an auto because it was either that or no car at all
While I would prefer a stick at times, that's certainly no reason not to mod it. People who say not to mod an auto are diehard, even though I've seen people get better times on the 1/4 mile with an auto than a stick. The horse power between the two stays the same though. It really comes down to the person. I have a auto GT, but dammit I still love modding it!