I have a 2005 Hybrid with manual transmission--a rarity. I chose manual for better power and control, and automatic seemed too sluggish. I do sacrifice gas mileage however, but still average about 39mpg no matter where I drive. I love the car, it is well built, fun to drive, and has more power than expected. It is also very comfortable for a long trip. The only drawback is that the "auto stop" function does not always dis-engage, but I found a way around this, but always making sure I am in gear, before the light changes, or double shifting when it stalls. I think this car has been overlooked in the hype over the Prius, which drives like a golf cart, the Civic is a real car!
The seats are very comfortable, and it really handles nicely, the manual transmission is very responsive.
Fix the problem with the "auto stop" and give it a little more power, and the car will be great!