I decided to check out the Top 10 guide for Barcelona given the excellent experience I had in London with a similar guide on a past trip to the UK. I noticed the same compelling points with this guide as I'd noticed with the London guide -- a concise list of things to do in city, a list of various neighborhoods, list of best cafes/bars and sample itineraries for spending an entire day in each neighborhood, the top 10 things to look for at each attraction, and the best feature: the compact size of the guide.
But I was looking for more than just the above -- I was traveling to a city where people don't talk in English after all. What I really liked about the guide was the main map that showed all the important street in an uncluttered fashion, and the mini-maps that were included in the assorted Top 10 lists, making it a breeze to locate the attraction or cafe/bar. I also loved the list of the Top 10 drinks you'll find only in Barcelona like the "Orxata", the "Granissat" and of course, the "Sangria" that is refereshingly different from what you might have had anywhere else. There are similar lists for food items (definitely try the "Pallela"), shops, etc. These are the things that make you blend in with the locals with confidence.
I also loved the section on Streetsmarts -- when you're in a country where English is not the first language, you sometimes need a helping hand with even the simplest of things -- like what is the best deal on the Barcelona Metro? Should I buy single tickets or a "T-10" for 10 tickets? How do I make a local phone call? What should I avoid? (Answer: touristy scams at La Rambla). The Top 10 guide's Streetsmart section covers many of these "small" things on your mind and also include a few pages with popular Spanish/Catalan phrases with translation in English, eliminating the need to carry a phrase book, if any.
With this guide, I was able to see Barcelona according to my schedule and tastes. I took in all the touristy attractions and spent time exploring specific neighborhoods like El Raval, Eixample and interesting detours. Not a day went by when I wasn't glad for having this guide by my side -- and at under 10 bucks a pop, I'm quickly acquiring a collection.