Personally, I don't see the point of an automatic with manual controls. I'm sure the transmission knows when to shift better than I do, so I'm happy to leave shifting to the computer.
On the other hand, an automatic manual (a manual transmission that has been automated) is a different animal. On one hand, people don't like them because there is often a lag when they shift, like the one used in the Smart ForTwo. I like them because, at least on a theoretical level, they automate shifting without making the transmission a complicated mechanism that is as prone to failure as a typical automatic transmission.
If I'm not mistaken, VW experimented with automating part of the shifting in different ways on the original Beetle. One woman I knew back from high school got a classic Beetle that required manual (stick) shifting, but the clutch was automated, so pressing the gas pedal automatically engaged the clutch, so the car only had two pedals: brake and gas. I think VW called this a semi-automatic.
...or was it pressure on the gear nob that disengaged the clutch? I can't remember.