Stick vs. Auto
All of my previous trucks have been standard transmissions and I have run them everywhere from the beach, through the mud, and on the ice. I really enjoy driving them. I like them much better for driving off road in dirt and mud, but shifting in the sand is a real pain. No matter how fast or how many rpms you have it's all lost on a slow shift.
With much dismay, I ordered my new truck with an auto with the beach in mind. Now I'm very happy about it and it was a very good decision. I appreciate it even more now, being that I live and work around roads with a rediculous amount of stop signs. I will never understand the purpose of an All Way Stop, or putting one every 50 yards on a quite road. (but I digress)
I like the control I have with a standard, but the convienence of an auto on the beach is better. As far as being simple, I've had more tranny and clutch problems with standards in my pick-ups (synchros, throw-out bearing, slave cylinder, master cylinder, mechanical linkage) than I had with my automatic cars and suburban. And I've treated them all with equal abuse.
I drove my 69 Buick LeSabre with the techniques of Ace Ventura. It also didn't have heat, so when the windows fogged I looked like him too. LOL