However at http://groups.google.com.au/group/aus.cars/msg/6228780526a60c29 it says the following: "Transmission: get an auto. Unless you don't mind paying for clutch replacement and you can do this yourself, an auto will be cheaper to maintain in the long run."
I am a second-hand car buyer. I never buy new cars because of their depreciation. Second-hand cars depreciate too but not by as much. My dad and my brother both tell me that a manual car is cheaper to maintain than an auto in the long run. My brother tells me that with an auto you must constantly change the transmission fluid and each time you do this you must pay a small amount. With a manual, there is no transmission fluid. However, because of this there is gear wear and your transmission needs to be replaced. He says the cost of replacing the manual transmission every, say, 200,000kms, is about $1000 while the cost of replacing the transmission fluid every, say, 20,000kms is about $200, so in the long run you're better off with a manual.
But this assumes that you buy a new car! If you buy a second-hand car just before the manual transmission is fully worn out, then you are in for a large repair bill. You would probably be better off with an auto. As I said, this issue is a grey area for me, and nobody seems to have given me any firm evidence about what is right. I hear one person saying one thing and another person saying the complete opposite.