... As far as kids with Manuals, my daughter is 15 and has a new permit. She is just now learning to drive a manual, and in a year or so she will probably be getting a fiat 500 with a manual. I have been asked by several of her friends to teach them to drive a stick, so there is interest out their. And yes some have already figured out how to roll the car and pop the clutch to get it started.
Yeah, I taught my daughter to drive a manual as well (on a 1981 Alfa GTV6). She doesn't currently, but at least she knows how. My wife and I share a Mini-Cooper S with a 6-spd manual, in the winter (in the not-winter, she gets the Mini to herself, and I'm generally found on a Ducati motorcycle).
A full automatic is not desirable to me. Whatever the situation, I (and the vehicle) are the ones actually in that situation, and I want to decide what gear is appropriate, and not leave it to the assumptions of some engineer/programmer somewhere/somewhen else. That said, an automated manual, or paddleshift automatic, removes that objection. So while I still resist the idea on a gut level, I have to rationally admit that if they can get it to change the ratio smoothly and when I want it to, that's an objectively superior system.
With cars, I can see the attraction -- manual transmissions involve having more controls than limbs, and so having control over the transmission ratios without having to take your appendages off the wheel or other pedals is rationally a plus.
I still enjoy the shifting, though. But then, I'm an old guy, whose bikes all still have carburetors, and whose cars all still have stickshifts.