Subject: Rick Steves, Frommer's, etc.
As someone noted, his books and even the Frommer's and Fodor's are mostly for first time travelers. And I agree that he is very impressed with himself and loves his fans. On the other hand, some of us sounded rather snobbish - we're all first time travelers somewhere, sometime.

We used Steves book on our first trip to Ireland last summer and found it quite useful, particular on some of suggested routes. Most of our travel has been in Great Britain and on early trips we found the b and b recommendations in Frommer's quite useful; perhaps it was luck, but we didn't find the price gouging. We rarely use those guides there now, but I often check them just to be sure. Certainly when we go to a new place (e.g., Russia next month) we are going to look at all them again.

Jerry and Mary Coleman (in Belmont, California)