I don't know what book Joo Y. Chung (see review below) was reading, but it wasn't the same book that I read. Carnie's textbook is a very accessible text that avoids technical jargon (not "snobbily dumbed down" as Chung asserts) and I think the argumentation is entirely straightforward. For example in chapter 5, Carnie shows how the X-bar theory follows directly from the evidence of replacement operations. The motivations are totally clear and obvious, nothing is an "edict from on high" (ok, in some of the later chapters, Carnie doesn't immediately explain somethings, but he always gets back to it later (e.g. in chapter 6 there is no explanation of why we have specifiers, but Carnie is totally up front about it, and the book returns to it in later chapters. Sometimes I didn't understand the motivations for things until I tried the problem sets, but overall I think everything was pretty clearly laid out.) I've taken two Syntax classes, one taught with Adger's book and one taught with Carnie's and Carnie's wins hands down. In fact, this book was far clearer than my professor ever was in his lectures. I wish there was some more detailed and more advanced material in the book, but other wise I think it's the best linguistics textbook that I've (been forced to) read.