Clutches and gearshifts have also become muted right along with the rest of the car. Don't take my word for it: Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini's chief R&D maven, had a chat with Road & Track last fall about how clutches also became softer and gentler so as to appeal to the mass market.
Putting a skilled driver in a modern manual is like handing da Vinci a paint-by-numbers book. Certain advanced driving skills, which the hardest core enthusiasts and track guys (like myself) practiced tirelessly to perfect, are now redundant. Even before I turned 16 I was teaching myself, every time I downshifted, how to rev-match. I'm not even going to explain what rev-matching is; if you know it, you already understand my point. (If you don't, watch this video and observe the incomparable Ayrton Senna dancing on the pedals.)
After two decades, rev-matching is so ingrained in my muscle memory that when I drive the new hotness from manufacturer X, my foot still blips the throttle -- even though the computer is already doing it for me. And that's a horribly deflating feeling. Because driving a manual with these automated functions seriously pales in comparison to the satisfaction derived from truly doing it manually.