I remember back in the State Library days when I was a spotty little teenager of about 15 trying to work my way into a group of 'sophisticated' university students (and one guy who worked in the fruit and vegetable section of Woolworths) who would play Dungeons and Dragons every Saturday (and Friday, and Sunday, and any other day they could get together). I thought these guys were wonderful and wanted to play their so hardcore characters, however I just never seemed to be able to survive long enough to collect all of those hardcore magic items they had (namely because a small inner group would steal all the juicy ones before the rest of us could get our hands on them). So, to try to impress them, I would end up doing stupid things, with the result of having to sit out the rest of the game while I created a new character (usually at first level, despite the fact the rest of them were level 10).
One of them suggested that I read the Player's Handbook because that would help me play the game better, but in the end it is simply a rule book with lots of charts and spells, and didn't really teach you any wisdom (or how to sneak off, grab the juicy items, and return in one piece). As such I also read the Dragon Magazines, and while they helped, much of it was devoted to helping Dungeon Masters run games, though occasionally they would have articles giving you ways of using a spell that is not strictly outlined in the book (which would then open up a half-hour debate as to what the actual wording in the book actually meant). I guess one of the problems with such a complex game is that you cannot hire yourself a rules lawyer, and then take the matter to a rules court, present your case, and wait for a ruling (though you could write to Dragon Magazine, and in the days before the internet and instant email, the chance of you getting a prompt response would be slim - actually non-existent). Mind you, in Dungeons and Dragons, the final say should be with the Dungeon Master, but having had many such arguments over the years, unfortunately (like the real world) appeals to the Court of Arbitration for the Rules of Dungeons and Dragons never actually produces a satisfied customer (especially when the ruling involves casting a fireball in a 20' by 20' room and completely frying your character, and then the player either arguing that a fireball isn't actually that big, or otherwise attempting to save and reload, as one would do in a Computer Roleplaying Game).
Oh, and I still remember when I got my first AD&D module ([book:Secret of the Slaver's Stockade|2569611] I believe) and encountering a bunch of baddies with glaive-guisarmes, and wondering what on Earth a glaive-guisarme was. Later I discovered that it was a pole with an axe on the end, which was also a Guisarme, a Falcion, a Halberd, and a Pole-Ax
Oh Gary, you really tried to squeeze everything into this little book (including the price of livestock) and then us little spotty teenagers never realised that if a pig would cost the book price in one town it did not necessarily mean it would cost the same in another town, however I never had any players that would give their hand at trading (probably because looting treasure tended to be much more profitable).