When I shopped for a jeep all I wanted was a standard trans. After wheeling for a couple years I think an auto might be better for "crawling" up the rocks. I've been driving clutch for 36 years and can feather it as I need to, but slowly applying the gas with an auto trans would make it easier. Having said that, I think it just comes to personal preference. Everyone will have their own opinion and their own type of off roading. Enjoy! And welcome to the club!