I already said 10 speeds mitigate it somewhat but still not entirely because you have to get the rpm above the stall speed of the torque converter before there is any engine braking being utilised. Fall under that speed and its noticeable and and you may or may not convince the 10 speed to grab a lower gear but it makes it a lot harder because you have a narrower range of engine braking.Meh - autos do it all the time, what's the difference between putting my Ranger 10 speed tranny in 1st (4.69:1) vs a modern cruiser with a H55f (4.84)? It really has more to do with gear ratios than anything, right....not unique to manual vs auto, what am I missing?
Using the hill decent is just as easy brainless way to go about it, I thought it was stupid at first but after having it it's actually pretty nice.
If you could manually lock up the torque converter down to idle then it would be great and I have driven hacked vehicles and vehicles with stand alone trans management where you could do this. It's all about the torque converter in terms of engine braking. With manual control there is no difference between the two and in the case of a 10 speed and more available gear ratios it would probably be better.
Hill descent that uses brakes isn't a solution for anything other than short term use. There is a reason heavy trucks have engine brakes and don't have some sort of magical hill descent that somehow makes the brakes have more capacity and longer life because you can't. Physics is physics.
This isn't just a truck thing. If you drive a crappy econo box in a really mountainous twisty road place like Mexico, Brazil, Europe etc the amount of engine braking you get between a regular manual or dual clutch auto compared to a torque converter auto is insane. I have driven identical spec cars other than the auto torque converter trans that start to cook the brakes driven in the same manner as manuals or dual clutch trans in mountainous twisty terrain.