I don't see this as a rant. I think this is a genuine problem/complaint with recent programming books.
I am not sure what started the trend or why it continues. Exercises are where the learning happens for me. Perhaps well crafted exercises are more difficult to write than programming language documentation/cookbook style books? (which is what most of these books are)
There is less focus on books as a teaching method, and rather just a collection of manicured examples and well ordered documentation. (which are also valuable, but not a great way for me (and others, I suspect) to truly learn a language or technology)