Your skill will accomplish
what the force of many cannot
You had me there until the last paragraph.Does that mean I shouldn't have written that one? ;-)
On a more serious note, I don't for a second doubt what you say. Anyone can get better, I just haven't seen it first hand. It may sound as if I am judging from just one book, but that is not so - it is the only book I've ever bought myself like that, but I've repeatedly encountered those books at jobs. Ranging from ASP to XML, and all of them were equally bad from what I tried to learn from them. While I've only had good experiences with ORA books (and never read a Manning one).
That said, it is very possible many of those books were a bit on the old side and thus fit in to your category of pre 1999.
I suppose that it is also very possible that the form these books try to teach in does not fit me well, or at all. I think that is very true. I still stand by my "review" of the book in question, although I should really get my copy back and reread it to be fair to it. Of course I hold a grudge against it. :)
However, even if SAMS has gotten better, even much better, they have repeatedly ruined their chances with me unless I get a good reason to think otherwise. Which in itself is a catch 22. But then again, as you point out, I am maybe not in their immideate target audience either.
I have no reason to doubt that your book is excellent (I do not know which book it is), especially if it has gotten the positive attention you mention. Let's just say I am a gambling man, and my experience with SAMS as the dealer has taught me it is better to bet someplace else, even though now the rules may have changed. Just as I've "learnt" that ORA is usually a good bet. Is how one makes choices, based upon experience (and recommendations).
I do agree that there are two different kinds of books. I guess I was disappointed that said book was neither, again IMO.
I will now save this and go ++ your node, as it puts a good perspective to mine. :) I *still* think the same about SAMS books in general, but I will now promise to at least look at them before not buying them. *grin*
A sidenote: As for reviewing your book, if it is Perl related, maybe I'll contact you a bit later. I am trying to breathe some life into my local PerlMongers group (in Gothenburg) that has apparently been sleeping for ages (same for the whole country, in fact), and if I succeed we could use some bookreviews and such. I'll even give it to someone else for the review if you like. :)
You have moved into a dark place.
It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.