Having said what I did above, I have to say I agree with your last three sentances 100%. One of the reasons the military changed over to auto trannys years ago was because the troops no longer had a clue as to how to drive manual transmissions.
Same thing with ATV's. I doubt if you can hardly sell a manual shift ATV anymore. But they sure squeal like a stuck pig when they find out what it costs to rebuild the things!