Not to stir up a hornet's nest, but do any of you "non down-shifters" live in a hilly area and drive in rush hour traffic. The WRX tranny is geared very low in first with a wide split into second. In stop and go traffic, especially going up hills, it is really impractical to stop or almost stop to shift down into first gear. Doing this would assure some semi trailer would have a blue Subaru hood ornament on its grill.
The big problem is the spacing of gear ratios ... wind out first gear to 4K and you are barely into second gear enough to keep from stalling on a hill. (I think the 5-MT started life as a 6-MT with the cost accountants removing the real second gear to save a few yen.!)
The wide gear spacing and the way the input shaft drives the low gear synchros is the source of the problem. It would be nice of SOA if they would give us credit for our faulty 5-MT's in trade for a 6-MT). Personally, I'd feel a whole lot better about the whole situation!