I'd like to write a couple posts on what I look for in a dog breeder, and what I think other people ought to look for in a breeder, and to get things rolling, I'm going to delegate. Here are two links to posts written by Smart People with Really Nice Dogs.
Henry Chappell is a writer and outdoorsman who wanted a good "meat, hide, and stock dog," and found what he was looking for in a pup named Cate, a Mountain Cur. Read the first post about Cate here.
Julie Zickefoose has been in my sidebar since this blog was born. She's an artist and writer and NPR commentator, and I'm in love with her Boston Terrier. His name is Chet Baker, and he is too cool for school. [It doesn't hurt that Julie is a fine photographer and Chet, of course, is a great subject.] Here is A Brief History of Chet: Part 1, and here is Part 2, with possibly the cutest puppy photo in the history of the universe.
Finally, to add to the mix, here is the oft-quoted/oft-linked Reputable Breeder vs. the Backyard Breeder.
All food for thought. I'll write more tomorrow.