I know my X3 has something called hill start assist. Basically, you keep your foot on the brake then when you come to set off, when you take your foot on the brake to move it to the accelerator it will hold the brake for a few seconds giving you time to accelerate. I think it's a standard feature across the range now.
That could be a solution rather than using the handbrake?
I know that in the X5 and the 5GT to take the handbrake off you had to have your foot on the brake. So I presume that would be the same across the range. Auto Hold is really good, however i'm not entirely sure the Manual has that.