I'm one who would sooner pay to fish on private land on a stretch of river in a crowded area than pay for most private lakes. As to guides, they can be useful for new waters or for transportation. Some people use them every time they fish, and I think they're missing out on a lot. The only place I use a guide repeatedly is the Lower Sac--and that's for transportation and rowing. Once in a great while they will teach you some invaluable techniques, but in my experience that is rare. I avoid them if I can.