Maybe you should have the dealer service check it out. We also had a Manual before the auto-stick, it seemed rubbery and a long throw, but no need for a hesitation inbetween 1 & 2. I traded my WRX for a Jetta GLI (6-speed) because I was sick of the tranny noises and difficulties. Even my 200k miles 1987 Toyota GT-S shifted better than my almost new Impreza.
I didn't want to reply to this thread because I'm so fed up with Subaru transmissions..."you are not suppose to down shift" <-----what kind of crap is that?!?!?!
But if you think something is wrong, then something probably is, get it checked out. You know how to drive, don't let them tell you you don't know how. Sorry for the rant, but I feel Subaru could have fixed/improved their trans issues back in 1998, but they still churn out the same old stuff.