Yes, some manuals are more expensive than the stock auto counterparts. This is just supply and demand for that car.
Yes, faster than manuals, but more enjoyable? Not yet for sure. Right now it is the technology (which is gaining quickly) and price. I believe that the hardcore folks will get older and the newer generation that doesn't even know how to drive a manual will take over....so autos will win overall. I am just being optimistic that manuals will still be available..