I have not had a bad experience with auto leveling, I have used both methods and just prefer manual leveling. Manual leveling is easy, and it only needs to be done once when the printer is first turned on. I have printed for days without needing to readjust it. The printer does not need to go through the auto leveling sequence at the start of each print.
To use the manual method, it takes it requires the extra step of leveling the bed and this can be a challenge. I have only had to do this once since I built my printer a year ago. I feel a level bed improves the quality of the prints no matter what method you use. I was fortunate to be forced to learn the manual method, because I still prefer to use it today.
For most people I would recommend using Auto-Leveling. These type things are what is making 3D printing usable to the masses. I’m sure some day someone will make one as easy to use as a paper printer is today. But for us who like to build things from scratch, and take things apart to learn how they work, manual leveling is still an option.