This discussion began on the Toronto/Ontario Board. In short, a few of us would like to inform the world that creme brulee should never be eaten unless it's been freshly brulee'd. Once brulee'd, it does not hold well; the crackly top becomes wet and soft. Prepared foods stores, please take note!
When you get it in a restaurant, the custard should be cold, not warm. If you make it at home (which you can, without a blowtorch), you can broil the sugar in the oven - just make sure to place the custard dishes into a pan containing ice and water (an ice bath) before placing in the oven. This ensures that the custard remains cold while the top is browning.