Well! Those are some interesting observations. I will admit that I bought his Guide to Barcelona and Madrid then never looked at it as I wanted OUR experiences to be unique (which they were). Besides, we know Madrid quite well. We used his guide to France which actually was very helpful as he referred us to his website to download info about the Louvre in particular. It did make what looked like an overwhelming visit, a manageable one. Still, as you would say, HIS "picks" of what was important to see. I do like that he refers you to walking tours run by "locals"--this is so much fun to hear the history of a neighborhood rather than just walking through it or trying to follow his directions. (We never do this!)
I have used the Rough Guides--to Spain, in particular. I also have a wide assortment of Moon Handbook Guides to Costa Rica, Belize, etc. I see a lot of Fodor's and Frommer's on the bookshelf, too. Also Karen Brown, Alastair Sawday, Eyewitness, etc. That said...I am NOT a novice traveler!
I appreciate your message that Rick Steves is NOT a fan of Athens (or of Greece itself?). Now that's something I didn't know. So I really appreciate your input on that.
I always use the library as my first resource for travel guides. I compile the information (in notes or in my memory) then choose the guide which seems most geared to our "tastes."
So thanks for not sending me to Amazon.com for Rick Steves' Guide to Greece and Turkey!! (Borders said "out of stock.")