FWIW I use 2.8/24mm; 2/35mm; 1.8/50mm; 2.8/105mm Micro and 2.8/135mm all of these manual focus AIS; I also have an 8/500mm Cat. Some were new and some bought used. I have a single AF lens: 2.8/180mm which I wish had been manual, but wasn't available as such here in Spain when I was buying. Unfortunately, at the time, it cost as much as the more expensive manual, too. Hey ho.
I feel that the lenses made prior to AF are better because they are not designed to be light-weight so as to enable autofocus to work. As far as image quality goes, the best manuals were designed for professionals to earn their living with, and suspect that's more than can be said for the industry today. Anyway, I have only once come across a Nikkor that really, really sucked; yes, a zoom.
In the end, it's about making nice images, and I wonder how much 'quality' is really ever used in the process of doing that; the moment you abandon a tripod you are at the mercy of your own nervous system - when did anyone get that checked out at 100% on their monitor?
If it's for fun, most anything will probaly do; if you have to think about earning your keep through it, then you have to be very careful at the shops!