Look for chocolate that is all-natural, with real vanilla rather than artificial flavorings (such as Vanillin), emulsifiers (lecithin and guar gum) and preservatives.
Photo shows (clockwise from left, beginning with the short round canister):
Scharffen Berger — www.scharffenberger.com
This San Franciso-area chocolatier is winning international awards for its chocolate. You can find it in many gourmet and health food stores, including Whole Foods. Look for both eating and blocks of baking chocolate.
Lake Champlain Chocolate — www.lakechamplainchocolate.com
One of my favorite for eating. Great for fondue, but a bit too sweet for baking. Available in many gourmet and health food stores, including Whole Foods. If you're looking for the best chocolate gift, any of Lake Champlain's gorgeous and delicious samplers will be a hit.
El-Rey — www.chocolates-elrey.com
Another excellent American chocolate and my second choice for baking. Available in many gourmet and health food stores, including Whole Foods.
The original Callebaut chocolate factory in Weitz, Belgium was purchase by Succhard-Toblerone Group, which is owned by Kraft Foods Deutschland, which is owned by Philip Morris USA. But in spite of its crappy heritage of ownership, Callebaut chocolate is still one of the best for all around eating and baking. You can find this chocolate in many gourmet and health food stores, including Whole Foods, and once in a while at conventional grocery stores.
Bernard Callebaut — www.chocolateladyps.com
The grandson of Callebaut's original founder has moved to Palm Desert, CA and set up a chocolate factory. The chocolate is a bit sweet for my tastes, but it's still excellent and is faithful to his grandfather's recipe.
Rapunzel — www.rapunzel.com
This German organic foods manufacturer produces one of the world's finest cocoa powders. Look for its chocolate and cocoa foods at Whold Foods, gourmet, and health food stores.
Ghirardelli — www.ghirardelli.com
An American chocolate icon in San Francisco. Easily available in major grocery stores, so there's no excuse for using Hershey's or Bakers chocolate in your recipes. Use their baking chips for chocolate chip cookies.
Guittard — www.guittard.com
Another American icon from San Francisco that's available in major grocery stores. Use their baking chips for chocolate chip cookies.
Droste — www.droste.nl
Droste has one of the best cocoa powders for baking and hot chocolate drinks. Available at major grocery stores.
Glaubers — www.Glaubers.com
Our local Baltimore chocolate confectionary was founded in 1876, and I often bring their sampler boxes to my computer training classes. Order from their website, or call 1-800-GLAUBERS.
Gearharts Chocolates — www.GearhartsChocolates.com
A small artisan chocolatier in Charlottesville, VA. Wonderful confections using ElRay chocolate. Great selection of chocolate gifts.
The Cocoa Mill — www.cocoamill.com
Another small chocolatier, this one in Lexington, VA, that's winning awards for its delicious chocolates. Very nice selection of eating chocolates and gifts.
www.chocolat.com (no "e" at the end)
More chocolate websites are listed at www.chocolate.com/chocolate_index.html