I drove a hire car with start/stop (manual) and it only stopped the engine when the hand brake was on - it started again as soon as the clutch went in. It worked really well - is there no option to do something like this?
Yes, a mate of mine has a manual with start/stop and they do exactly as you say, gear in neutral, foot off clutch, engine stops, so you have some control over it. Start/stop was never put on automatics before but now they've worked out how to do it, you come to a stop in the Civic auto, the engine stops, put your foot back on the accelerator, it starts again, or if you move the selector out of D to N or R, it starts again. For me, it's horrible, some people may love it! But when you're in very slow moving, stop/start traffic and you may only be stopped for a fraction of a second, the engine going off and on constantly like that is a total pain in the proverbial!