Standard vehicles are cheaper to buy. They are also better on gas than automatics when driven properly.
North America and Japan are really the only countries where automatic vehicles are popular. In other countries, automatics are extremely expensive or nonexistent. Not knowing how to drive a standard can limit your travel options abroad.
Plus, if you can drive a standard, you can drive an automatic, but no the other way around.
I am British and due to the nature of our roads, automatics do not work, as our road system is many hundreds of years old with straight lines not appearing very often.
I remember an American family standing in front of me in the rental hut at the airport in Glasgow trying to rent a car in tears because Avis didnt have any Autos in.
And it is not Dinosaur tech, virtually all racing cars have manual/semi-manual boxes, and racing cars are the cutting edge of tech. It is only cutting edge tech in Americas quest to put the sitting room sofa on the highway.
If you plan to live in the US and never leave for any reason and dont have any great passion for the art of driving, then yes Auto is okay.
Any other plans, seriously pick up both.
I think there should be way more than the low percentage of drivers who do know how to drive standard, but I don't think that everyone should. Some people may not be able to multitask properly in order to be safe on the roads with a manual transmission. The way I have seen some people drive an automatic transmission makes me wonder what would happen if they had another foot pedal and had to select all of their gears.
Economically it makes since. They cost less, get better gas milage, you have more control over the car and research has actually shown that if you drive a manual you actually pay more attention to what's happening. But even more than that it's more fun to drive a manual. If you have a manual car there is only about a dozen things that can break, and most of it cost less than $200 to fix if it does break, however on an automatic there is literally a couple of thousand things that can go wrong and depending what does go wrong it could cost you a couple thousand dollars to replace the whole transmission.
Most cars nowadays do not have Stick-Shift. Nowadays, there are few if any modern day stick-shift cars. First of all, the license that you are obtaining should be in question. Are you getting a C license? IF you are, than you will probably not exceed an automatic shift car. Stick Shift is now more of a commodity than something actually on a car. And as time progresses, stick-shift will soon be proven against its dangers, including distracting the driver from keeping their eyes on the road and keeping both hands on the steering wheel.
Truthfully, there shouldn't even be stick-shift cars, but automatic shifts with stronger breaks that can go all terrain.
As we make technological advances with automobiles, manual transmissions are becoming obsolete. Many cars in America are automatic, so the average driver doesn't need to learn how to drive a stick-shift. However, if you like to travel, you'll need to learn it since the majority of cars in other countries are manual. Also, driving a car with a manual transmission can turn a normal commute into an entertaining one. It provides a sporty aspect to driving and allows the driver to have more control over the car. People shouldn't be required to learn it, but I'd hate to see manual cars disappear within my lifetime.
Standard cars were the norm back in the good-ol-days. Now we're getting into self-driving cars and electric vehicles. I think of standard cars as old technology. (Yes, I know they are still being made) Either way, whatever you're preference you have, I see no need for someone to learn how to drive a standard vehicle if that's not the car they are going to be driving.