FunkyOldMan, it sounds like you really want an automatic so you don't have to shift. You also want more power. You know what you want, and I think you'll be happy in the long run changing over to a more powerful engine and keeping the automatic. It's the same as compromising and buying a cheap version of that thing you really want. The satisfaction of saving a little money fades quickly, but the bitterness of wishing you had the thing you really wanted lasts a long time.