I have flipped through many travel guides and every time, regardless of where I am going, I always go back to the Eyewitness series of travel guides. These travel guides always have the most pictures, maps, diagrams and the front/back covers even fold out sold you can have a placeholder. As you can see in the picture, I own the Scotland and New York guides. I plan on buying the most up to date version of the China Eyewitness Travel Guide as August 2008 approaches, but for now, I have settled for a copy checked out of the local library.
If you have never opened an Eyewitness guide before, this is how the China one is organized (taken straight from the table of contents):
Beijing and the North,
Inner Mongolia & the Silk Roads,
& Survival Guide
Each section has regional and city maps, detailed site info, hotels and restaurant reviews, and feature on each region. I wholly recommend the Eyewitness series of travel guides.