I'm a fan of cars with manual-transmission cars as well. I learned how to launch a car in first gear when I was 12 (on a '71 Beetle in my parents' driveway).
Ever since I had a license, I've driven a car with a stick-shift [my current car is a '98 Ford Contour SVT (Ford Mondeo ST200 to all of you outside North America)].
I've also taught others how to drive one. I agree with Ian: find a big, empty parking lot (mall/shopping center, school, convention center, etc.) and practice there.
IMHO, launching a car from a dead stop is the key. When I taught others, I made them practice the following: stopping, moving the car from first gear, driving a few feet, stopping. I made my "students" repeat this over and over until I felt comfortable (and until they felt confident). Once I got to that point, I would have them drive the car some more and shift from first to second gear and from second to third gear (just to practice changing gears and downshifting). I would have them go no faster than 25 mph in third gear. After a few rounds of this, the real test comes: driving with traffic in a "downtown" section. By this time, they are "master novices" at driving a manual transmission.
The car you use depends on the personality of the driver who wants to learn: Most of the people I taught were intimidated by a big-torque V8 engine; thus, a car with a four-cylinder engine sufficed.
I hope that this doesn't happen, but I can see the day when sequential gearboxes (such as those from Ferrari, Aston-Martin, BMW, and Toyota among others) will take over, and a clutch pedal will be a thing of the past.