I drive a 1991 Civic station wagon with a manual transmission. At 226,000 miles, it is getting long in the tooth and I am looking for a replacement. I have test driven the Honda Fit with a CVT, and the Subaru Impreza with a CVT. The Subaru CVT was not very responsive, but the Honda CVT was quick to accelerate when pushed, and very smooth. Yes, it was loud when accelerating hard, but I felt that was mostly the engine. I actually took along a digital sound recorder to measure loudness. (Loudness in the Fit is about the same as the '91 Civic SW on rough, worn pavement, but much quieter on smooth pavement or when idling at a signal.)
I found that cruising at 70 mph the CVT was running at 2400 rpm, while my 1991 Civic would be stuck at 3200 rpm, no matter whether it was working hard or not. Hence the much improved gas mileage from a CVT -- it adjusts to the actual workload demand.
I live in Olympia, WA, where traffic never is really bad, but whenever I visit Seattle or Portland, I get caught in miles of creep and beep. All that feathering of the clutch pedal in stop-and-go is a huge hassle with a manual transmission, especially on hills.
I am looking forward to driving a CVT, and so far I feel Honda has a pretty good version.