ATC Section Guide example
A bit of a combination of Data Book and Companion, the guides and their topo map companions are fairly complete solutions to hiking the A.T. Just look at the detail in the trail description. They do cost quite a bit more, and one would need to buy (or rescue) the complete collection. With as much gear abandoned trailside, at shelters or in hiker boxes, getting the whole set is a matter mainly of patience.
One of the trail jokes back in Georgia was that you could start in Amicalola naked, head north and be fully geared up by the GA/NC state line.
Of course, topo maps lie... for the tired, no hill seems ever that gentle; for the thirsty, no water seems every 'right over there' and the trail can't possibly be THERE, but if you can move beyond that, they are great resources.