Whenever I am going on holiday, one of the most exciting things for me is buying the rough guide before we go. On the rare occasion that I haven't done this i've felt I've gone into things blind and not taken the best choices in terms of trips etc.
This rough guide did prove invaluable on our trip to Sharm el Sheik and a day trip to Cairo, however the one thing I would question, and I find this is generally the case with Rough Guides, is that the prices quoted for meals and, in this case especially, taxis is often way out. We travelled only a month after this book was published, so I would expect it to be much more up to date than it was.
The info on Sharm was pretty basic for our needs (it focuses a lot on diving, which we didn't do), but when it came to Cairo we were able to plan an independent trip to the city, which as two lone women, we probably wouldn't have done without the info in the book. The friend I was travelling with was on a pretty tight budget, and didn't want to pay the £150 each that it would cost to travel with the tour operator. With the help of the book, we managed to find return flights for £45 each. However the taxis cost far more than anticipated. Aside from the £10 each way to Sharm airport, the prices in the book were wildly innacurate. We used taxis in Cairo from the airport to the pyramids, then to the museum and back to the airport. The book claimed we would pay just a few pounds for these trips, but although we tried to haggle we found that no one would give us a ride for less than about a tenner each way. Also, the book says that you can go outside the airport to find cheaper fairs, however, it does not say that it is almost impossible to get out of the complex as a pedestrian without walking about 2 miles and getting run over!
The book was invaluable in stopping us getting ripped off by a man at the pyramids who pretended he was an official, and lead us away from the pyramids then told us we had to hire a camel/horse to get around the site -from reading the book I knew this wasn't true, although this situation was pretty nasty and argumentative, and I'd say for this reason alone I would reccomend that unless you are really desperate to keep prices down, I would do this trip WITH the tour guide.
The day was redeemed however by a trip to the Cairo museum. The book was so detailed about the exibits, we didn't really need a guide or a guide book, and I really enjoyed the whole experience.
Over all, I think rough guides are invalable in helping to plan what destinations to visit when you go on holiday, and give you a good feel for the place with their desciptions and insights into history & culture. However, I find that they sometimes give a rose-tinted view of the place - I've often found that places are not as safe for lone or female travellers as they would have you think, so do not blindly get yourself into a dangerous situation. Also, always allow for larger costs than the books would have you budget for. Always ask for advice from locals or other travellers, as you will probably find their experiences will give you a clearer picture of what to expect.