I have personally driven the Dual Clutch version and the Manual version of the Veloster and have to say that I am quite impressed with the performance. It isn't uber powerful by any means but it certainly gets the job done. The paddle shifters allow you to have some fun, but not as much as the manual (much more rev control). Granted, you do get better 0-60 times from the A/T, but you also get better MPG's out of the M/T. If you're fluent in a stick, then get that and trick out the car with both the style and tech packages (you're essentially getting about 35% off by getting the manual rather than ponying up an extra 1.2k for the dual clutch). The pandora streaming, ipod integration, and 450 watt sound system should satisfy your tech needs while the 40+ mpg's (according to the computer I was getting 47 going about 60 on the freeway ZOMG) will satisfy your wallet.