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The Daily Grind: On leveling guides

With as busy as life can get, some consider leveling guides to be a nice way to be able to catch up to friends on very limited time. After all, you are still seeing content; you're just just following an optimized course and saving yourself from aimlessly wandering, looking for things. Of course, many people feel that this is basically cheating, because you're not exploring, or bothering to read the quest log seriously. (Of course, with item database sites like WoWdigger or mods like the above-pictured Lightheaded/Cartographer combo for World of Warcraft that point the way to the quest completion for you, the argument about "not reading the quest log seriously" kind of flies out the window.)

This morning we'd like to ask you where you come down in this debate? Are you one of the people who feel that playing through using a leveling guide is cheating, because you're basically following in someone else's footsteps and not experiencing the game on your own? Do you think it's OK to use a leveling guide once you've been through the game "the hard way" and you're just leveling alts? Would you ever pay, or have you ever paid for a leveling guide? Do you think that paying for them adds to the stigma, or are they just worth it versus the general quality of many free guides available?

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