The history of photography is strewn with disgruntled camera owners who were furious at every advance or change. Factory-coated glass film plates instead of coating your own? That's really taking the craftsmanship out of photography!
Many photographers were infuriated at the new feature of a rapid-return mirror in 1954. "Why, that will cause camera vibration and shake. We will not have anything to do with it." "A built-in exposure meter (1960). It's not nearly as versatile as a handheld one. We'll have none of it." "Fie on autoexposure! Now you've really taken the creativity out of photography." And thus onward with great objection to built-in-flash, autoload and autowind, program exposure, and now autofocus.
Let's admit that every one of those advances -- and they are that -- were indeed accepted, enjoyed, and depended upon by the vast majority of SLR owners. Outraged conservatives can still buy cameras with mirror lockup, use any handheld meter they wish and set their SLRs manually, avoid built-in flash and operate an off-camera flash when needed -- and today they can manually focus nearly every autofocus SLR if they so desire.
(I must note, however, that some of the most vociferous anti-auto pros I know have thanked their lucky stars for the whole auto-everything, kit and caboodle, in situations such as hanging by one hand from a yardarm 60 feet above the deck of a sailing ship in a rolling sea.)