When I first started programming I would pick up a book on the subject thinking that it would teach me all about that subject, only to find that the examples were half finished, didnt work , or the explanation was too simple or complicated. Also examples jump from simple to complicated with large amounts of code to right, i.e a form with other 15 items in one exmple to set in a struts book.
My idea of a perfect text book to teach a subject is chapter one start with introduction to the subject. Chapter 2 a very simple example that works. and then each succesive chapter builds on that one example. Making sure that at the end of each chapter. You have a built a application that covers that chapter. You can then spend time playing with that application ensuring that you have learnt the lessons of that chapter.