I'm going on a music tour of Ireland in two weeks so I got a copy of the Rick Steve's Ireland 2018 guide at B&N a couple of days ago. It reminded me yet again of the good and bad points of Rick's guides. The good news is that I've found them to be very reliable and accurate and they cover a lot of material in a very understandable way. The bad point, which I'd encountered before, is that they are very spotty in their coverage. I knew this so I checked the guide against a DK guide before I bought it. RS guide had good coverage of Dingle, Doolin, and the Aran Islands, all places I knew I would be. So I went ahead and bought it, even though Skibbereen, where I'll be staying for three days, was missing. Now I just checked out Bunratty, where I'll be staying for three days after I fly into Shannon, and found it is considered touristy and thus not worthy of coverage. So just an FYI, before you buy a RS guide, check and see if destinations considered interesting by you are considered worthy by Rick and his co-authors.
Exactly what I like about Rick Steves is that he is willing to take a stand and say avoid a certain town or this my favorite place. Lonely Planet and other guide books try not to offend any tourist organizations, they love every town everywhere.
So basically, if RS doesn't like a place, you won't go there? That means you will miss out on a lot of places that he might not like but you may.
And a lit of places he does like are wall to wall tourists.