We spent today familiarizing ourselves with the cheese shops of San Francisco. A full review will come after we've been to each a couple more times, but here's a short report.
Creighton's (673 Portola near Tower Market) was an absolute dream. Behind the counter was Rachel, and she is one of us in spirit and taste. Friendly, knowledgable, her energy and familiarity with her store make up for the slightly small selection. She labeled all our cheses so we would know what we were eating.
Say Cheese (856 Cole at Carl) has gotten some excellent writeups here on Chowhounds, and is clearly well-stocked and has some yummy cheese indeed, but we found them a little cold, a bit reticent, and they sold us an undistinguished epoisse while claiming it was a perfect one. That's a strike against them, in my book--never try to sell something as quality when it's just acceptable. Even though they had more cheese, I didn't feel like I wanted to return to Say Cheese.
Next stops: The Cheese Board and Artisan!
P.S., Creighton's has a small bakery side to it as well, and BOY do they make a killer chocolate custard eclair! That puts it a nose above most cheese shops.