We’ve been down this road before, obviously, but I’m beginning to wonder just how many of the people who have berated Aston Martin on this site for fitting the new V12 Vantage S with a flappy-paddle gearbox (instead of a manual) have ever actually driven a car with a modern paddle-shift gearbox.

And when I say modern, I don’t mean like the one that was fitted to the original Vanquish from 10 or 12 years ago (which was indeed rubbish), but instead one of the latest systems, such as that fitted to the current Vanquish.

Because if you have, and if you still don’t like what you find, then fair enough. We will simply have to agree to disagree and move on. 

But if you haven’t experienced not only the speed, convenience and ease of use of a modern flappy-paddle gearbox in full flight, but also the pure pleasure of  using it – yes, believe it or not, there is actual pleasure to be had from flicking a downshift paddle at just the right moment and listening to the engine blip to the correct revs – then I’m not sure your opinion really counts.

Armchair experts are, after all, often very good indeed at knowing what they don’t want, but they aren’t always so forthcoming when it comes to explaining what they do want. Complaining about stuff is, unfortunately, often the easiest option to adopt for the casual observer, even though it’s equally important to realise that there are two sides to every coin, etcetera and so on.