I don't think using a camera in manual is difficult at all. In fact, I find it (usually) easier to use a camera in manual than one that is in some sort of automated exposure program. Reason being, light really doesn't change all that much, or all that quickly, so depending on what sorts of values you want to emphasize, your meter is going to be changing constantly, and telling you to expose a scene in a way that you don't necessarily want.
I would hazard that 90% of my photographs that aren't made at night are shot at 1/125 and f/4 or f/5.6 during the winter months, and at 1/250 1/500 and f/5.6 or f/8 during the brighter seasons.
When it comes to shooting at night, give me aperture priority, a f/2 or 1.4 lens, and all the 3200 speed film I can get my hands on, because I don't take great pleasure in shooting 1/4 second exposures with 400 speed film at 2.8.