Thanks for the responses. Actually I do most (75%) of my driving on sweeping rural backroads in N. Texas where I can drive aggressivly w/ realtive impunity (the biggest danger is cattle but the visability is excellent.)
-I have only logged 1800 mlies on my SMG M3 and of course it's a slow learning curve w/ this tranny (but it's great fun to experiment.) I am mostly preplexed by the heavy traffic situations where, as it's been pointed out , subtle throttle modulations can remedy most problems.
-As for the overall SMG experience I must say that this transmission is simply too engaging to be dismissed as a mere techno-gadget. In particular I find that driving the SMG M3 demands a greater degree of driver focus & concentration than a manual. This may diminish w/ time (one get's more comfortable w/ it?) but I have the sense that this transmissiom can do many, many things well and may in fact be more fun than a stick manual!
-Here is an example of SMG fun and something I just discovered: I'm driving along in 6th. at 60mph in auto mode #5 w/ the "sport" mode engaged. I need to pass 2 cars poking along on a downhill section w/ a gentle sweeping radius. I hit the gas, the tranny drops into 3rd, revs to 7000 & explodes all the way to 135 mph, just hitting in 5th gear ALL in a BLINK (w/ rpms reaching 7800.) My God, it was wicked fun: I would never do this w/a manual tranny. Never so quickly nor with the confident feeling of a fighter pilot. It's hard to explain but in agressive driving situations the SMG M3 is perhaps the most sensual, sexy, powerful and addictive driving experience I have known (and I have had lot's of BMW & Porsches since 1966.)
Please share your tips & Thanks.