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Where or how can you find out if a stock price is selling below it's book value? How much merit should be put into this? Also, is book value the same thing as asset value? Please explain in laymans terms if there is no service that offers this information without having to do the calculations.

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Book value is the accountant's value of the company. I don't know of an quick resource, but it is one of the fastest calculations you can do.

((Sum of all Assets) - (Sum of all Liabilities))/(# of shares)

For Google on June 30, 2005...

As taken from

(4,497,718 - 543,861)/(279,240)
= 3,953,857/279,240
= $14.16

So, if Google were liquidated, you could expect to receive $14.16 per share.

On one side, the book value can indicate if a company is overpriced. I don't think so. The book value of a dollar bill is less than $0.03, that being the actual value of the paper and ink. The book value of a one hundred dollar bill is the same $0.03. We know that good companies can be worth more than the true accounting value of the company.
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