Today I found what appears to be a good and usable English-Lao, Lao-English dictionary in my local book store. It was mine for just a few dollars. The dictionary is called "English-Lao, Lao-English dictionary" and is authored by Russell Marcus (1971). It contains about 5,000 words and fits in my pocket if I wear my large pants
I'd say the dictionary will work for both Lao people and farang (farang = us long-nosed westerners). All entries are in Lao script, phonetic, and English. The phonetic system used is that of Alen Kerr, which looks similar to the system Mary Haas created. The first section of the dictionary features grammar notes and rules for pronunciation.
If you a chance to get your hands on this dictionary for a reasonable price, I'd say it's a great buy. It's also perfect for the beginner and intermediate learner of the Lao language.