Unless at a complete stop I dont often see the need for first gear.
The gearing is too low, 2nd tends to hook up much better from 5mph upwards.
I want an M135i but have a wedding/honeymoon to pay for. I'd get the auto without question... Better fuel economy and quicker - no brainer. I would miss heel and toeing though.
Car: 2010 Jaguar XFR (Cat-back exhaust)
Gone but not forgotten: Highly Modified E90 335i LCI M Sport Manual (circa 480BHP/500lb ft)