WOW! Popular argument, err, I mean thread. Almost 50 posts in just one day. I'd like to comment on almost every single post, but I won't.
To get back to the OP for a second, I to would like to see a Giulia with a manual trans, but I've accepted the fact that this just won't happen, not now, maybe never. I've been driving sticks since I was eight or so and I'm 59 now. Perhaps this is why I have multiple cars, with different types of setups.
The 2017 Giulia is a saloon. No matter how much performance AR puts into it, no matter how many upgrades the consumer (that's you, the reader) adds to it, it will still be a SALOON. It's a luxury car. Think in terms of opera car.
Alfa Romeo is in financial straights. They need the Giulia and the Stelvio to reach as many consumers as possible if they want to stay in business. The six-on-the-floor won't entice the masses. 90% of the consumers want an automatic transmission. They don't want to be engaged in the act of driving.
- Now, in my case, I've got a 240z with a stick. It's my dedicated track car.
- I've got my 4C with a dual clutch paddle shift. She's my daily driver. Think in terms of street legal race car.
- We, my wife and I, share a 2017 Giulia Ti Q2. Even if it was available with a stick, my wife won't/can't drive a stick. In order to share this car, it must be auto-shift.
- My wife has her Fiat 500 C as her daily driver. 100 hp w/auto. Bah. Not for me, but perfect for her.
- An ugly old work truck when I want to haul stuff.
Our use with our Giulia will be somewhat limited and absolutely shared. For us, she (the Giulia) will be more of a GT (Grand Touring) car than anything else. She's big enough that we can take our luggage with us. She's fast and responsive with plenty of reserved power for passing on the uphill. She's nimble enough to go zipping through the winding mountain passes with ease and confidence. And since none of our other cars can comfortably hold more than two, well, that's what the extra doors are all about.
I realize that not everybody is in a position to have a car for every occasion. If I was in a position where I could only have one car, and that car had to be multi-functioning, I'd probably pick the Giulia and start modifying it. Actually, I have been in this singular position in my past life. I found that the now extinct station wagon made for the best one-car-fits-all.