Perhaps the best bang for your buck is the The Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying
. This book is exactly half Pattern book, and half Technique book - right across the middle. The top section lets you page to a specific pattern, and the recipe contains cross references for each technique, which you can then page to on the bottom half. At first I was calling this a gimmick, but after using it myself I think it's a great idea.
I think that some of us tend to forget that the average fly tyer has a different set of goals than the fly tying obsessive compulsives. They don't want to make a career of fly tying, they don't want to study a bunch of obscure techniques - they just want to tie some flies that will catch fish, and won't fall apart. (And I'll add, they want to do it in as little time as possible.) This book helps them accomplish those goals.
The most visible difference with this book is clearly the binding. Metal comb bound, I think you call it, but it lays out nicely on the bench. Or even better, in a book holder. And of course the part where it is cut in half horizontally is pretty nice. In case I'm not explaining that well, the idea is that one half of the book is a pattern book, and each of those patterns cross references to a specific technique in the othe half of the book. So you can pick out a fly you want on the top half, then flip around on the bottom half if you are fuzzy on a specific method.
All in all, great, easy to use, and maybe the ideal beginning book.