I would have thought the auto throttle would produce much better fuel economy, like cruise control in a car. And therefore pay for itself for any training certification issues.
I am not a pilot but I am an MBA, and if there's one thing business schools drills into you it is that Southwest is a very well managed company and everything they do is deliberate and (mostly) has been very well thought-out and successful... so while I don't understand why they don't use LNAV, etc (didn't you guys just get LNAV not too long ago at SW
?) but when you look at operational performance it is hard to find faults in the SW
strategy... so I will sit back in my armchair and trust that good'ole Herb knew what he was doing.
I have a pretty sophistcated 737NG set up on my PC
(for some of us that's as close as we'll get to the front office) and the VNAV is such a hassle to configure in the FMC I just don't use it anyway (though would love to learn how to program the VNAV portion as I always get an FMC message telling me this or that is not set so no VNAV).