An unhelpful response to your trials and trevails:
Heh... "The sock book that looks like a sock" (or something).
Have it, and love it.
Wouldn't make most of the socks in it, but very handy for looking at reccomended yarns, weights, heel-types, needle sizes, tips and tricks, etc...
Current favorite pattern from the book? "Shadow Box" I've been working on multiple pairs because I dig them so much :)