I love my 2016 S sedan 5 speed. The shifter is not as nice as the 2011 Honda I used to have but it gets the job done. The clutch is nothing special but it does what I need it to do and all in all I think its a very easy to drive, forgiving car. Good one for teaching people how to drive stick really with the low gearing and somewhat spongy but lurch-resistant clutch.
I prefer to do a lot of neutral coasting as much as possible although I will use engine braking when the conditions are right for it. Neutral coasting has a much greater potential for maximizing miles per gallon BUT it is heavily dependent on the environment in which you are driving. In my rural area all the roads are 55 MPH max with some towns you will slow down to 35 MPH to pass through which is prime opportunity for coasting but in a heavily populated urban area its just not going to work out well for most people when you need to keep up with traffic and get out of the way. Out here in the sticks I often have most of the road to myself so I can do whatever I want to make the most of my momentum.
Its true sometimes having to shift is a nuisance but I think the benefits outweigh the cons. We get a more aggressive final drive and we put more power to the pavement than the autos and CVTs, all around better performance and if driven properly can still get better mileage than what the average person gets out of their CVT which is a win-win. Typically a safe bet that a properly used and maintained manual will outlast any automatic transmission.
Never use the clutch to hold yourself on a hill, I might have misunderstood your words but the end-all is that if your clutch pedal is anywhere other than fully in or fully out when driving then the clutch disk is incurring wear. (So of course never rest your foot on the clutch while driving either) My old man got over 450k miles out of a clutch in a basic small sedan like this one and many days he was towing a trailer with firewood to boot, they can last a very long time but you gotta keep slippage to a bare minimum, just what is necessary to get rolling and get over the first gear or two without lurching.