I was looking over some old threads on the Boston board recently, and I came across a discussion of this book, along with some lamenting about its being out of print and the high price of extant copies. Today on a lark I entered "chinese characters" and "eater's guide" into a web search, and lo and behold it appears that The University of Chicago Press has decided to reissue this in paperback for 15$! (link to the U of C listing below). It's not out yet (the UChicago site says 3/4, the big web book store where I just preordered it claims May of '04) but I thought I'd mention it here since I saw there were a couple more threads about this book on a couple of boards when I searched chowhound. Seems like a few folks might want a copy of this one.