Re: 6 speed xb, am I the only one?
I just got it done a few weeks ago, and I haven't really taken any long highway trips yet. I've had an Ultra Gauge hooked up for years, so it's easy for me to monitor my gas mileage. In town, the mileage is about the same (36-40mpg). I definitely try to get good mileage. The only real highway driving I've done is on the way back from the shop where I got it done. I reset my average mpg, and over about a 20 mile stretch of driving 60-65 my average was around 42 mpg.
Used manual Echo transmissions are kinda hard to come by. I found one on eBay for about $450. I didn't know what was involved with doing the swap, and apparently nobody else did either. It was hard to find someone willing to do it. I found basically a specialty shop that said they would should be able to do it. After hearing what the mechanic said about it, there's no reason a normal transmission shop or someone with decent facilities at home and mechanical ability couldn't do it. The rates at the shop that did it are $100/hr, and my total there was right around $650 for parts (fluid), labor and tax. So finding a cheaper shop or being able to do it yourself will save a lot. Basically take the old one out and put the new one in. No modification needed for anything. Toyota made this one easy for us. It's just that nobody knew it was that easy!