A guy at Cabelas who seemed to know what he was talking about told me something I had never heard before, even though I have been using spinning gear for 50 plus years. When I got my 20K, I too was amazed at the manual bail closure. I bought my 20K and 8K from Randy, but I decided I wanted U.S. models for the lighter reels because I would use them more and probably tend to need service more often on them. So I picked up a 2500 and a 5000 at Cabelas and noticed that, with the bail open, unless I started cranking with the line roller having a good long way to turn, the bail would stick unless I really honked down on it--nothing like an old Mitchell or something like that.
So this guy told me that spinning reels are not designed for automatic bail closure and somebody in Europe added that as a bell and whistle in the '40s. He said you should ALWAYS get in the habit of flipping it closed with ALL spinning reels. That seemed like BS to me, especially with a Stella where everything else is so smooth.
In any case, I'll be damned if I am going to close the bail manually while spec and red fishing. It's no problem, though, because, when I cast, the bail is in exactly the right position so that if I crank a couple of turns it closes the bail instantly. But it won't work so smoothly if the pickup roller is down low.
And if I live to be a hundred, I will never get used to closing the bail on the big reel manually. For that matter, I will never get used to having a spinning reel that weighs two pounds! I put it and the Twinspin on the scale and they are within an ounce of each other.