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The problem of engaging 1st gear can sometimes be overcome by pushing the gearstick very hard left (almost clipping the reverse gear indent). 1st gear will then engage as smooth as butter.
Can this be an adjustment of the cables, problems with shifter (standard shifter) or selector forks in the gearbox.
I have taken the car to the local Porsche Centre (Canberra, Australia) and they inform the first gear issue is normal for all 987/997 manual gearboxes.
Having driven around 1,000,000km on manual Alfa, BMW, Toyota, Subaru etc the gearbox feels far from normal.
I would expect the Porsche to have a better shift than say a Subaru. I have booked the car into the Porsche Centre again and they said they will have a thorough look at the problem.