According to what Tom and Ray have said on their show, when you live in a hilly area (like San Francisco), you are better off with an automatic. I am not so sure myself.
I can see why an automatic might be better on hills for some people. When you start out going uphill, you might be inclined (no pun intended) to let the clutch out slower than you would if you were driving on level ground, and go heavier on the throttle. However, this issue can be overcome by using the proper technique with the parking brake as a "hill-holder," which will keep the car from rolling back.
Frankly, it's hard to know if you need a new clutch because you are using improper technique or if you need a new clutch because the one you have was not designed and built robustly. It's all speculation. Perhaps if I were able to observe your technique, I could give you some pointers.
Do you know anyone who has had a clutch last more than 200,000 miles? If you do, see if that person is willing to give you some pointers.