If one drives a manual trans the correct way-depress clutch at a traffic backup; shift into neutral; release clutch; wait for traffic to move 2 feet; depress clutch; shift back into gear; release clutch; move 2 feet. Repeat 1000 times to go a mile. Just depressing clutch and waiting to move wears out release bearing and R&R. Try this routine many times every week. I fail to see how this is "way more enjoyable than an automatic" and "having to hold my foot on the brake was more work..." Driving in NH is heaven compared to BIG city life. LOL
You're doing it wrong--you don't need to shift to neutral unless if you want to. I've read that many throwout bearings are always engaged now, so the old admonition about not holding the clutch to the floor is no longer true. [Might be harder on the thrust bearing though.] In NYC, yeah sure, I'd go automatic. But I crawled through a number of jams in MA and CT and didn't die. Ya adapt--if you shift to neutral then you wait until traffic moves more than 2 feet... FWIW my wife put 173k on her Civic, and 200k on her Camry, no clutch issues (out here in the sticks). My Jetta had 250k and the clutch was perfectly fine when inspected (flywheel failure), the mechanic thought I could reuse all the parts.
Besides, it takes more effort to hold the brake down than it does the clutch to prevent creeping. Ok, if you let off the brake it will move then and then you have no left leg work in an auto, but all the effort and then some goes into the right leg. Net sum zero. More than a few jams I would move my car with only my left foot, just let the clutch in and out, my right foot just sat and did nothing.