Whew, don't you guys get touchy about having SMG?!! I've never owned an auto or SMG in my life, but my M3, if I can stand to wait for it, will definitely have SMG or whatever autobox is offered. The M3 is not a sports car IMO, it's a GT car. I'd actually prefer DSG or a slushbox in the M3 to SMG. If I want to jerk my passenger's heads around, I'll row 'em myself. But the M3, with a V8... it's a big car now... it needs to shift itself.
Still, BMW markets the M3 as a sports coupe, and in my not so humble opinion, they will continue to offer a manual. They don't want to kill the heritage and brand completely.............