4EAT... not equipped on any car with more than ~230hp, and aside from very few with VTD, most are Active AWD, with 90% front bias.
And ask SVX owners how reliable they are, with an EG33 corked down to 230hp... it still heats and eventually burns the fluid, and it has to be changed more often than suggested to keep the transaxle from failing. And the front diffs go, too, with that H6 torque being sent through it most often. Subaru didn't have a manual that could hold up to that engine in 1992... but the 4EAT BARELY holds up itself.
Forester and Impreza GT, and others that use that transaxle are also limited to 230hp or less. The cars most reliable with that gearbox, are atmospheric flat 4s, with less than 200hp, which the transaxle was originally designed for.
The 5EAT at least has a capacity somewhere around 250-260hp, and associated torque, but even some of those develop issues behind the EZ36. At least it has the more advanced VTD-AWD.
There really isn't a believable reason that I have heard for why Forester XT was not offered with buyer's choice of 5EAT and '10-12 Legacy 6MT, and the 268hp tune EJ255 engine, especially AFTER BP Outback XT was cancelled after MY2009, and internal competition was eliminated. Forester XT should have picked up that mantle, and carried it. Even if it wasn't an STI... it should have been at least that.
Forester S-Edition in Australia IS that, although 5EAT only. Even with Legacy Spec.B's blue alcantara seats.
CVT may be an upgrade over a 4EAT, if this third iteration is reliable. However, that is hardly bragging rights to tout, and I am more interested in what version of AWD hardware it will have.
It is being noticed, and reported in the media, that fewer people, especially fewer young people are buying cars AT ALL... and the baby-boomers that pushed the retro muscle car craze are retiring and buying fewer cars also, and the retro phase is waning a bit...
At some point enthusiasts will be the only ones left interested in buying new cars. Some of them still seek manual gearboxes. Subaru may want to remember it, and not kill off all of them.