I can almost guarantee with the new CAFE' standards that are upon the industry, the low MT gearing craze will soon be something we will happily talk about in a historic sense.
While it harms steady state highway fuel economy, we can try and get around it with advanced techniques around the inner city or suburbia. Out on the Interstate, it is a ton of work as most that have replied in this thread know all too well.
Let us hope the Mazda SKY-ACTIV gear makes it over and that Mazda brings over a 6-speed MT with the tall ratios and their magnificent Start/Stop system within a few years. I loved the Mazda2 for its quirky and hip appearance both inside and out, simple controls and over the top FE performance when pushed. Oh boy was its gearing tough though