Manual game saves: Retro chic or outdated design?

Derek and I have previously said that specific Zelda gameplay should be updated for the 21st century. One of those issues is manual game saves.

Although not exclusive to Zelda, the new Skyward Sword, like previous Zeldas, requires the player to manually save their progress. Instead of auto saving like most modern games, Skyward Sword players will have to save their progress at “any of the Bird Statues scattered thoughout the land” (pictured).

I suppose that’s alright if you’re trying to rekindle past experiences with retro games, all of which required manual game saves. At the same time, however, modern usability would dictate that auto saving is better design, since every game player wants their progress saved (i.e. don’t make them think.)

What do you think? Is there any fun or value in manual game saves? Or should every game, included Zelda, bite the bullet and auto save all the time?