In addition to my MX-5, I own a 2011 Mazda3 hatchback. I'd had problems with my manual transmissions as well. I've been driving a manual my whole life, so I know its not a matter of inexperience with me. Honestly, the clutch is set up in a strange way, always making the initial Neutral to First change awkward. It is difficult to get rolling, especially aggressively, but even still at regular speeds. Also, I've noticed that if I rev high in first gear and try to put it into second gear (obviously with the clutch), it does a very strange grind. Obviously, the dealership wasn't able to repeat the grind, so they just look at me like I'm crazy.
2013 Miata Club "Shadowfax"
"And the road becomes my bride..."