I have been teaching with the Getting to Know series since it was ArcView 3 and find the book well thought out and easy to follow. However, this version (for ArcGIS 10) is, as near as I can tell, identical to the previous book for version 9.3 - same exercises, word for word. If there are any differences at all, I haven't found them. The one major exception is that the previous version came with a CD with a 6 month licence for ArcView 9.3 and this does not - you have to download the trial version from ESRI's website. I'm not sure if that is better or not - obviously not good if you don't have high speed internet.
The one major improvement the text needs is some "homework" exercises at the end of each chapter, similar to those used in the GIS Tutorial: Workbook for ArcView 9
series. I have created my own for the Getting to Know book, using local data, but it was a tremendous amount of work. If you were using this as a self-teaching text, the exercises would be invaluable.
The other complaint I have about the text is the sequence of some of the chapters. For instance, the chapter on geodatabases should be moved to somewhere near the beginning of the text (I have my students do that chapter right near the start) because any assignments they do, you want them to create directly into a geodatabase rather than have to redirect the pointers to all the file locations later. I would move the geocoding chapter to a point later in the text, too.
Finally, the old GTK ArcView text contained a digital version of the text that the students could access on their computers in the lab. This meant that they didn't have to lug a big, heavy textbook with them to class all the time, nor did they have to make space in an already crowded computer lab to spread out the text AND their notes.
I only rated the book a 3/5 because, in my opinion, a.)it is unnecessary to buy it if you already have the 9.3 textbook, b.) each version seems to be missing something that the previous version had, and c.) it could be much better. Having said that, I still think it is a very clear, easy to follow tutorial that will help the beginner navigate their way through the software.