I've bought this in previous years and it was very useful. This year I bought the 2012 guide without looking at any of the reviews here. The negative reviews are correct!
This new guide is extremely inconvenient to use:
You look at a map and see an entry for a town - you then look up the guide to the maps to see what "region" it is deemed to be in, then find the part of the guide that covers that region, and look through the entries for that town. Each of the "editors' favourites" entries get a full description (good), but then you get further entries under an "also worth a visit" section. These have star ratings, but very brief entries, without telephone numbers, food details, opening hours etc., etc. I was confused - are these starred entries "worse" than the "editors' choices"? No, it seems these entries just haven't paid a fee, so get a 2nd rate entry! Worse still, these "also worth a visit" entries do not warrant being featured in the maps. So if you look at a town which is devoid of any entry - it just means that no pub has paid for an entry, but there might be several "also worth a visit" entries! I buy this book mostly to find pubs that do accommodation, but as most of the entries no longer give this information, it is hardly a proper unbiased and independent guide. If the editors had the decency to clearly explain their new system, I might have had some sympathy for them, instead I was extremely annoyed about the structure and contents of the book - until reading these reviews realised what had happened.
I was very tempted to send the book back to Amazon. I will certainly never buy this book in future years, an d suggest anyone thinking of buying a copy look carfeully at the reviews here to see whether it is of much use to you.