as an airline pilot i am suprised at how mis-informed the public are with respect to automation. to clarify a few points. firstly, the takeoff is not automatic. yes often auto-throttle settings are used to set a precise takeoff thrust, but the entire takeoff is done manually up to a minimum altitude at which point the autopilot can be engaged or you can continue to fly it yourself. once the autopilot is engaged, it is still a very busy phase of flight as you are constantly adjusting settings, speeding up the aircraft and retracting the flaps etc, all inputted manually as the autopilot cannot do any of this. it only starts to calm down above 10,000ft really.
similarly, in the descent it can get very busy managing the energy of the aircraft (ATC can leave you high and fast which is a major problem in these slippery machines that cannot go down and slow down at the same time) and below 10,000ft it gets particularly busy, again with a lot of manual inputs even if the autopilot is engaged. in fact the autopilot can even be dangerous in the descent because if you are high of the computed path it can try and dive for the path while ignoring the speed. this sends the speed dangerously high and causes the mach overspeed clacker warning to sound if you do not change modes and monitor very closely. Regarding autolands, it is very rare that they are done except to check the aircraft is still able to do them (has to be logged in the maintenance log) or if real life weather conditions require it and the airport is suitably equipped with a cat 2 or cat 3 ILS system. Most pilots leave the autopilot in on the approach down to approx 1000ft above the field and then disconnect and hand fly the final part of the approach and landing. Alternatively you may disconnect everything before even intercepting the approach in order to keep your hand flying skills sharp. Again, the autopilot has no involvement with the gear or flaps or speeds in the latter stages of the approach, even if doing an autoland so this is all selected manually.
there seems to be a misconception that the autopilot just gets on and does the job without any inputs or decision making etc by the pilots. this only really works during the cruise provided the route is correctly programmed and there are no factors such as ATC route modifications, terrain or weather problems (thunderstorms!). the pilots can then assume a monitoring role while completing routine fuel/altimetry checks and keeping up with the radio communications, suitable diversion airfields, minimum safe altitudes in case of a rapid depressurisation/emergency descent and a host of other things (enroute weather etc) to make sure that a rough plan is always in your head if an emergency suddenly happens.
As a final note, the captain and co-pilot are both fully capable of doing all duties related to the flight. the captain just has more experience and the best awareness of the bigger picture/decision making and is the final authority for the flight. on routine days the captain might fly the sector out to the destination and then the co-pilot would fly back. both pilots swap duties between pilot flying (who actually manipulates the controls and autopilot modes if engaged) and pilot monitoring (radio, data entry, nav log, fuel calculations etc) so that they both take turns actually flying the aircraft including takeoffs and landings etc.
I hope that this clarifies some points and I would invite you all to read further into the subject or even consider flying lessons if it interests you.
all the best,