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[xml-dev] Merge to compare

Imagine that you have found two books at Amazon.com: they both look interesting but you can only afford one (assume also that we are talking about thousands of small static XML docs, stored in a native repository). What would be the best way to compare them -item by item: price1 vs. price2, author1 vs. author2 etc- before choosing the one you are going to buy?
The content structure of the docs is very similar, if not identical. Would splitting the VDU estate into two panes, one for each doc, be less effective that merging the two docs and styling the content originating from the first doc in a particular way (say, tabbed 3 cms to the right)?
Working examples, your opinion and /or pointers to CMSs offering such functionality are greatly appreciated!
Ideally, the user should be able to go on in this fashion through a number of docs (shopping basket?), comparing one against the other, eliminating the weaker ones before ending up with one item left.