Love the concet. And I truly can’t wait until stackoverflow.com gets going. I used to by books all the time. I have, and have read, most of your recommended list.
Now, for cost reasons, I use Safari Bookshelf unless I really want a copy to keep for reference.
I don’t like Safari’s model of forcing you to buy slots because you have a minimum amount of time a book must occupy a slot. But it is an effective way for them to make money. Until you roll your solution out anyway.
My own belief, based on my own experience, is that the ratio of good usable books vs manual reprints with simplistic examples is pretty bad. And most book stores are devoting decreasing amounts of shelf space to the whole genre. You can find more certification books than anything else. And the number of titles surrounding productivity apps like Office far exceed the number of actual programmig titles now in Borders and Barnes and Noble.
When I am being asked to pony up $60.00 + for a book I stop and think now, and really be very aware of my own perceived value. Am I really going to get my value?
Good luck, I think you are on the right track!