I seriously doubt whether any of the folks slamming the Giulia for its automatic transmission have ever driven one. I love Alfas, but have always felt frustrated by how long it takes to shift. This is especially true of the GTV-6, which I still love. In my Giulia, shifts are totally under my control (in manual mode) and happen bang, bang, bang just like that. I think I read 200 milliseconds.
One thing I had to adjust to was not backing off the throttle on upshifts. The shift is so fast the motor doesn't speed up.
Man I love this car. Amazingly, my wife loves it too. She has hated all of my other Alfas.
I've driven plenty of the newfangled quick-shifting autos (zf 8 speed, VW DSG, BMW DCT). They are good at what they do, but they aren't particularly engaging. If I were racing, I'd want one, but even for a friendly track day, I prefer the challenge and feedback of a manual.
By the way, manual transmissions have come a long way since your GTV-6 too. A good modern manual can shift MUCH quicker than an old Alfa manual, and flat-foot shifting (i.e. full throttle shifts) can be programmed into the ECU of a manual transmission car. In fact, the Megasquirt ECU in my spider technically supports flat foot shifting, though I've not gotten around to experimenting with it.