Dan, I agree with you about the amount of information contained in books but isn't that true of almost all areas of photography? The bulletin board format is not a good source for organizing information but it is uniquely suited to addressing contingent technical problems.
I find the general difference between APUG and some other (especially digital only) forums is that most people there have not even read the manual of their 1Ds MK II cameras and come in expecting to learn a whole area of photography just off a couple threads on a board. Here, on the other hand most have read quite a bit on their interests and still have particular questions - and they are willing to read even more if pointed to the right sources.
So, while boards don't replace books I don't think a bibliography could replace informed discussion either.