Ain't that the truth. I'm just reading Mastering Regular Expressions and they really look bitchier whilst reading than writing. Maybe its just because you know what the hell its supposed to do while the unwitting reading is clueless :P
I'll second that.
I have Mastering Regular Expressions open on my desk right now, and it's not looking very friendly. However, I don't believe it's really intended as a reference manual, and once I've read through it a couple more times then I'm going to just know the majority of what's in it.
Saying that, the hard work in reading it is already paying off...