depends on how talented you are with a manual. If i were drag racing/pulling, etc i'd probably get a built auto, but i think the sticks are just more enjoyable and fun to drive. Lets all be honest here, if we were looking for a 1/4 mile rocket, we wouldn't be buying a 7000+ lb 4x4 pickup as a platform (not saying it can't be done...just saying it can't be done on the cheap). That said, there are a few guys out there clicking off some pretty impressive times down the strip with 5 and 6-speed trucks, so i wouldnt count them out. If you are looking to build something yourself, just remember that a
$5k plus tranny will hold a lot of power, but a $1,300 plus clutch will do just about the same. As far as cost effective i think the manual wins on that one too.