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Thanks for the confirmation @billymade. I have also asked VW Australia to provide a definitive response which will hopefully be sufficient to change the dealer's mind.
As for the 5 spd fix....I have owned 3 of the 98 to 2005 new beetle and every one of them when I hit expressway speed of 70 mph it was always at 3200 rpm. I always felt like I should shift. I now have a 2013 Beetle with the 5spd and at 70 mph I am running around 2200 rpm. Soooo much better. The only big problem I had with the 2013 is the oil pan has a coating on it that started flecking off and blocked the pickup tube.... well several hundred dollars later and its fixed.....VW says it will do nothing to reimburse me for the cost even though the car had only 37000 miles.
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