It makes sense, I suppose, that in the age of the internet, most people would use the web for recipes. In a cookbook, if one wants to make a brisket, one may only have one or at most two recipe options. With the internet however, the options are practically limitless! Publishers are smart, and writers need to make money. With that in mind, I'm excited to see most cookbooks focusing less on the ingredients list and more on the how and why of cooking.
I typically do a lot of research before buying something. I read consumer reviews, sample pages, and compare overall ratings with similar books in the same genre. I just got in a shipment from Amazon of a list of books that took me a month to compile. They represent what I believe is the best-of-the-best in the cookbook market today (that I don't already have). All of these look like they have a healthy mix of education and recipes, so don't worry, you'll get a little bit of both!
Vegetables Every Day by Bishop
The River Cottage Meat Book by Fearnley-Whittingstall
Fat by McLagan
The River Cottage Cookbook by Fearnley-Whittingstall
Cooking by Peterson
Fish & Shellfish by Peterson