Today, I experimented a bit with the Shutter Priority Mode. This is like manual-lite. I had control only over how fast the aperture closed (how much light was captured through the shutter) but not over the width of the aperture.
I didn't like this mode all that much, as I didn't think the camera adequately adjusted the f/stop to account for the changes in shutter speed. I took a few photos in this mode and compared them with the settings used in auto (no flash).
The top photo was taken on auto. 1/30, f/5.6.
The bottom photo was taken on shutter priority mode. 1/20, f/11.
I like the look of the top one better -- the lighting actually looks more like the natural light in the room! Hmm. This experiment with manual vs. automatic is tipping in automatic's favor.