Russtruck, I have a 2012 4x4, regular cab, manual. I am pleased as punch with the truck. I can't speak for the auto. My 5spd commutes 26 miles to work, drive all over town for work and then 26 miles back home each day. I have no problem merging into 75mph traffic. I occasionally (once per week) pull a 5'x8' cargo trailer lightly loaded (maybe 600 lbs) with ease. Don't get me wrong, there's always a part of me that wishes I had bought a larger 2wd 6cyl for more $$$.
I know you weren't looking for an auto vs manual debate but here's why I went with the manual. There's always a remote possibility that you'll need the room for a 3rd person. The middle seat is not exactly large enough for a full grown adult but it's there in a pinch. I have kids so they don't mind riding in the middle seat on occasion. The major drawback is that the bench seat is solid. So, if I have a taller passenger riding with me, I have to scoot the entire seat back to accommodate their legs. It can make it tough for my towering 5'7" frame to reach the pedals. So, again there are moments of "buyer's remorse" where I think the auto with its bucket seats would have been much nicer.
Here are some missing items on the 4cyl RC trucks that'll hack you off: no cruise, no intermittent wipers (I had no idea how much I like those until I didn't have them), manual windows (I actually like them). You can, of course, install some of these items but the concept of a new vehicle without cruise makes me laugh a little bit.
I guess it comes down to what kind of power and acceleration you're accustomed to. If you're stepping down from a full size truck with a big V-8; you'll likely hate it. I've only owned compacts and sub compacts in addition to straight 6 TJs. I'd compare this to the driving characteristics of my last Wrangler. It's not a speed demon but it has more than enough grunt to do what it's intended to do.
Good luck and let us know what you decide to buy.