Many folks assume that whole bean, as opposed to ground, is the best way to buy coffee. My experience, however, is actually the opposite. I find that one of the most important factors in brewing a consistently tasty cup of coffee is getting the right grind. And I've always heard that, unless one uses a so-called "burr grinder," doing it yourself will result in an uneven grind (and thus taste).
I understand there's a freshness trade-off. I find, however, that the grind affects taste even more than freshness (up to a point, at least). Besides, if you buy your coffee in small enough batches, the difference should be pretty negligible. That's my thinking, anyway. What do you all think?