Is it better to travel with a tour guide?

Travel is more and more a common activity for people to get refreshment. As a result, there is always controversial ways to arrange trips. Personally I would prefer to travel with friends only, rather than in a group led by a tour guide.  

For one thing, a tour guide can be regarded as the manager in a team during the trip. His/her experience and personality will have direct impact on your feeling about the whole trip. During every long holiday in China, the government will announce the numbers of travelers` complaints, plenty of which are due to the unpleasant cooperation with local guide or guide from the agency. For those who expect every minute in the trip to be enjoyable, it is unwise to depend too much on the tour guide.  

For another thing, people might argue that having a tour guide is mimic owning a dictionary, which will introduce all the historical stories behind every scenario. To some degree I agree with this comment, but, people are able to find out all these things through book reading and Internet searching, which is for sure more vivid and impressive. Plus, a tour guide is more focused on the time management and he/she will push you running from one site to another, and you cannot stay where you are more interested or leave early where you feel nothing worthwhile to take a look. That is always a problem for traveling in a group by a tour guide.  

Overall, recently a new kind of traveling prevailing in China can best explain my point. The Agency will arrange the hotel and transportation for you, and it is you who design the details of the trip and manage yourself. The reason behind its popularity is its flexibility and saving cost, plus, people who prefer to travel without a so called tour guide will choose this solution without hesitation.