I take your point that paddles won't substitute for the experience of manually shifting. Still, I read that the sport transmission is faster and quieter, and there are times on dirt roads when I want to be able to decide what gear to be in. I guess I can still do that with the knob for the standard transmission. It just seems annoying not to be able to order a performance option for the Ultimate Driving Machine that has no logical connection to my choice of doorsill. This seems like a marketing error by BMW, in terms of what they should want to promote about their vehicles. It's an entirely different matter not to offer manual for the wagons; I can accept that, even if I don't like it.
Btw, tturedraider, the X1 does not have a MT option. You can, however, get a steering wheel with paddle shifters for only $120. The X1 is a great vehicle to drive, but somewhat yesterday's news being delivered today.