Short Answer: Manual
Advantages of a manual: CRV's are incredibly boring, and a manual will help that. A LOT.
Also, as you pointed out, autos are slow... with an engine set up like the CRV, which doesn't have a lot of power in relation to it's weight, a manual will help you keep the revs where they need to be for maximum power extraction. I would hope you'd get a 4WD CRV, so winter driving won't be too difficult either way.
Advantages of an automatic: You don't have to worry about a clutch, or shifting in traffic.
If you commute through traffic a lot, a manual's clutch will go pretty quickly. This may be an acceptable expense, and if so, great! Get the manual. But if it's a concern, you might want to consider the auto because no matter how you drive a manual, enough traffic will tear up the clutch.
Also, shifting a manual through traffic can be a real pain. Driving that automatic through slow and go traffic could make you glad to have it, despite performance compromises.
Either way, a CRV is a boring car that will not leave you a happy buyer.