It's more complicated that you make it sound. They were suddenly in the middle of a violent and unexpected thunderstorm. Their pitot tubes froze up and stopped working. That caused all the computers to shut down because the computers could no longer calculate anything (not knowing the plane's airspeed). That forced the pilots to fly "manually" (Airbus' are fly-by-wire), Yes, the pilots failed to follow procedure; yes, they are (or should be) trained to deal with sudden, potentially fatal emergencies; but your description doesn't do justice to the events.
Oh, BTW, I would rather have my pilots fresh and rested after a long trans-Atlantic flight using an auto-pilot, than have them fly the plane "manually" the whole flight. AF447 was in the middle of the Atlantic, for crying out loud.