Bought my first new car in 33 years--a Ford Focus SE

Hi everyone! I just bought a 2007 Focus SE sedan, Aqua blue, with automatic, anti-lock brakes, and convenience package. This is my first new car since I bought a Chevy Nova back in 1973 (which I still have,
in running condition). I am very much a Saturday mechanic, and have gotten by over the years by maintaining and fixing two older cars my brother gave me ( a 1990 Tempo and '86 Subaru XT). They have served me well, but a recent new job with a long commute have made up my mind that I finally need a new car.
Just a couple of questions for the group: I paid $14000, down from $14500 (after a $2500 cash-back rebate). Do you think I should have bargained more? I'm not very good at this sort of thing, should I have gotten it cheaper?
Also--what is the difference in durability between automatic and manual transmissions? Especially for someone like me who intends to keep a car until basically it falls apart?
What made me look at a Focus for my first new car in 33 years is that it was recommended by Consumer Reports magazine for its size/class. Do you think I made a good decision?

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