Hello! I am a college student studying for my certified somm. My school library has the 2001 addition, and as a student between buying wine to study and signing up for the classes one of these books is really expensive. How important is it that I have the newest addition?
I hear a rumor that a new edition is in the works. If I were in your shoes, I'd focus heavily on the study guides and assorted resources available here on GuildSomm, supplemented with the World Atlas of Wine and the Oxford Companion to Wine. Both are indispensable to students of all levels. There is a thing to be said for older materials too. Having another perspective on a topic (even if certain data is out of date) can be quite beneficial.
The basic stuff you need for Certified (Bordeaux, Burgundy, etc.) hasn't changed too much. The rest you can fill in with online sources like the Guild, Wine Searcher, etc. I always give my old copy away when a new addition comes out. Probably not the wisest move in retrospect.