@Abyssfull: Yeah, and I remember Baldur's Gate and maybe Icewind Dale having nice manuals, but I got it as part of a huge package with no manuals. Maybe there are PDFs, I haven't checked, but I guess that wouldn't qualify.
Yeah, all of the Bioware games for a while had excellent manuals. Here I'll insert some pics. Notice that Icewind Dale and Neverwinter Nights have are spiral bound, sick! Arcanum's manual is interesting because they person who wrote its content went to great length's to make it all sound like one of those 1912 advertisements for Dr. Brock's Cure-All Tonic Juice very "old-timey". Too bad Arcanum's gameplay is garbage, every time I try to revisit it I am always disappointed : (
@ChernobylCow: Maybe you should do a post on this, you seem to have a good gob of information on it. We bought the big Atari multi-pack for all those Bioware games, so we never got the hefty manuals.
I've pretty much heard every possible opinion about Arcanum; I guess the setting goes a long way for some people to forget about the mechanics, but from what I've heard the combat is total balls, and some people who played female main characters said that the female role is limited in a way that feels less like an attempt at historical adherence (in a fantasy game!!) and more just not fun to play.