Is tour operator and guide still required to visit Bhutan?

Having read about Bhutan in some recent articles, I am very much interested in visiting this beautiful country. Been reading up about traveling to bhutan and have become quite confused. If I visit, am I still required to come through a tour agency and pay $250 per day? Or has some rules changed recently? Although its been stated that everything from hotel, food, transport is included in that fee, is there a government agency that monitors that travel agencies are actually providing them to the guests? Do I need to be extra careful while choosing a travel agent?
Planning to visit this May with my wife and 5 year old son, so would be nice if someone in this forum could clear up my doubts and share some tips, preferably from someone who has visited Bhutan recently.
I visited the country last year around March and paid more than $250 per day, it was more like 280. I believe its because i travelled alone and theres some extra fees for that. Although a bit on the expensive side it was more than worth it. The daily fee included everything from room, food, car driver and even a tour guide dedicated to me. More than the tour fee, the airfare with Drukair from Bangkok to Paro was quite expensive (about 800usd return fare) for what is only a 3 hours flight.

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