Hand submission isn't the only solution, but is the best one. Most submission software out there is useless and isn't worth it even if they dropped the price by half. Promoting a web site isn't meant to be fun or cool, it's a job and as with most jobs they are boring.
Are all the automatic submitters being rendered obsolete?
Let's hope so. Most good directories have measures in place to combat autosubmissions, but you can tell those that don't because they tend to be swamped with junk.
Autosubmitters are likely to do your site more harm than good anyway. Although you may gather a few links quickly, most directory owners will have you tagged as a spammer. So when you decide to go back and do things the right way because the autosubmission wasn't as effective as you hoped, your site may not get a second chance. Nobody appreciates laziness.