FWIW, Reinhart is constantly re-evaluating and tweaking. His more recent books often improve on his older ones. Also, you can find tons of Reinhart style home bakers and recipes online at The Fresh Loaf, a bread baking oriented board which is worth more than one look.
I only got Crust yesterday, started and finished reading it this afternoon, and haven't had the opportunity to put it to practical use yet. But, I'm already inspired to try some of the wild yeast things again -- like levains and sourdoughs -- which worked in Venice (California), but didn't when I first tried them here in the San Gabriel Valley, only a few miles away.
As to "Serious Bakers," I don't know. The approach here is "back to basics," with the assumption that it isn't your first time around the block with the basic bread types and techniques.
Based solely on reading, the prerequisites are a well developed touch, and a comfort with improvising around some of Reinhart's time and technique tweaks before diving too deeply into this particular set of formulas. As always, Reinhart is all about time and technique, and slack on measurement (at least compared to some of the people who post here). So yes; perhaps "serious bakers" are the biggest beneficiaries.
This is hands-on, up to the elbows baking. If you're a true-believer in "no-knead" breads, you won't be happy with this book. Reinhart pioneered the retarded rise (long proofing times), and the recipes in this book fit the mold. So it's not for the baker in a hurry either. Most of the recipes are "night before," at least.
Anyway, the whole thing looks like lots of fun.
Edited by boar_d_laze - 9/28/11 at 10:09pm