Yes, I got my Star magazine a day or two ago and saw that the 2001 C240 will come with the 6 speed to the US. I saw a couple of these while in Germany week before last. One of them was at the Mercedes Museum. The other was on the street in Stuttgart, probably an executive car.
My questions now are: how many will they sell in the US. In '86 they announced the manual transmission 300E and probably only a few hundred came to the US. If they are going to be this rare, I'll have to order one new. If they turn out to be somewhat plentiful, I'll let someone else take the initial depreciation and be MB's guinea pig. I bought a new E Class sedan when they came out in '96. It turned out to have more problems than a Volvo, and the dealer service was awful.
I expect that one way or another I'll eventually end up with one though. I drove a C180 four cylinder with a Five speed rent car in Stuttgart about five weeks ago. I wish they would sell me that one.
Thanks for the comment.