I find it funny people are wondering who would pay $20 for a gold guide when people are freely spending $10 (or more if you gotta-catch-em-all) for a pet, one that will ultimately provide less entertainment per dollar than said guide (And while buying the guide has zero impact on future content, telling a company you will gladly hand over 2/3+ of a monthly sub for next to nothing just might). Keep in mind that a gold guide and actually buying gold are (imo) night and day. To me a gold guide is basically like paying for a friend to tell you how to play a game better, while buying gold is like paying someone to play for you. Watching a youtube video of a raid boss will show you HOW to beat that boss, but knowing and actually doing it are two different things, right?
Now personally I don’t pay for friends, but if you need to, have at it. All the guide gives you in terms of an edge is knowledge that can be found for free with enough searching/playing. Maybe you don’t care to read 100s of forum posts about an upcoming patch and how it will bork the economy, and you are someone who is willing to pay a premium to have that information filtered for you. At the end of the day, what you do with that information is still up to you.
The ‘problem’ with WoW is that making money is trivial, so following a guide point-by-point actually works, and hence people are successful following them. In a game with an actual economic challenge (say, EVE), a gold guide can provide tips and knowledge to make you a better trader, but you can’t just run an AH mod and see success. The real problem is not gold guides or their makers (other than the scummy ways they advertise), it’s the brain-dead easy economic ‘challenge’ that those guide describe.