I know I not alone on this, but for myself if I wanted an automatic I would have bought a vehicle with one already in it. I specifically bought my vehicle because it has a manual transmission. And when I do come around to having a V8 conversion performed, I will be looking for one that has a manual transmission.
Manual may be becoming rare, but not everyone wants an automatic. And you can sing the praises of automatics as well and yet not everyone wants an automatic.
Every one of your write ups here have been centered on automatics, which is fine and it's your business. However I would like to see is a conversion write up that you have done with a manual transmission because not everyone want's an automatic.
I will try and get a manual build up, the last one we did was many months ago. They run like a stock manual JK with more power. The reality is manufacturers put out what the market dictates and as automatic transmissions get better and better they are outperforming the manuals so we are seeing less manuals.
I grew up on muscle cars and learned to drive on a stick so I am very fond of them also. Most modern automatics have a lower first gear along with torque multiplication from the converter as well as a taller overdrive than the manual. There has been a great leap in technology in automatic transmissions while there can only be so much in a manual. The new GM 7-speed manual is getting more diverse gearing. With adaptive learning, launch control, manual modes, etc the automatic is very different than it was years ago.
GM did not put a manual transmission behind the Gen 4 V8 truck engines and it looks like they're not going to put them behind the Gen 5 either. Manual swaps can still be done but you're not going to be running the OE calibrations.
One thing to remember with a 2.7 transfer case is when combined with a 4:1 first gear of a 6 or 8 speed GM transmission you end up with virtually the same ratio as a stock Rubicon which has a 4:1 ratio in the transfer case you're not losing anything. In fact you're gaining a ton of torque from the V8 with more firing pulses per revolution so in the end it feels like even a lower ratio than it is.
I have nothing against manual transmissions and if you want one by all means get one there are options out there. I drove 5.3 6 speed manual JK around for a couple of days recently and my commute to and from work is stop and go traffic so I can tell you that I missed the automatic. When I was younger I remember driving my 69 Z28 with a heavy duty clutch from the valley to Torrance in stop-and-go traffic when I got there I think one leg is shorter than the other but I thought that was cool :-)
There are specific areas where the manual is better than the automatic such as trying to rock yourself out of snow or climbing a hill when you need to disengage drive rapidly if the front and gets light and you have chance of going over. It used to be manuals were more efficient than automatics with less drag and less heat but since the mid 2,000's they have similar efficiency and miles per gallon to the automatic.