As everyone knows by now, we adopted Payton (yes, the name has stuck; he's got his official name tag now) from a rescue organization, as well as Remy and Caela before him. If you're looking for a pet, please don't be afraid to look at shelter and rescue organizations. If the fit isn't right, the animal can be returned, and the more the organization knows about the animal, the better it can place it appropriately. See my previous entry on animal adoption to know how serious I am about this subject.
Now, I'm not ruling out the idea of purchasing a pure-bred pet from a responsible breeder. A responsible breeder is someone who is in the breeding business to improve the breed, not to make money or see the "miracle of birth" or allow Daisy one last fling [a chance to be a mother] before she is spayed. Responsible and reputable breeders have done their research, and should sell any pup (or kitten, but you all know that I'm dog-centric) that does not meet the breed standards, but will be a fine companion. If a breeder offers you a "pet-quality" companion dog, but does not offer a contract stipulating spay/neuter, chance are good that s/he/they are not responsible breeders.