I'm not crazy about hardcover either, not because of the cost but it's usefullness. Books as large as his in hardcover are very difficult to have stay open. Instead I would prefer something that can lay flat yet remains durable. I'd pay extra. Maybe someone could start a site like the virtual weber bullet and we can discuss how to mod our books!
But the contents Steve created are certainly worth it so for now I guess I'll just keep stuffing the chunks of book that keep falling out back in. It's always something isn't it? You get a great book like ANY of Steve's and instead of treating the books like the loved tomes they are the publisher cheaps out on materials.