So I went by Roland's (422 Haight Street - by Webster) to pick up bagels for the third time. First time I went in response to a Chowhound post, and added my endorsement. Then last Friday I went back to make sure that I was not hallucinating the first time. (I wasn't). This former east-coaster, 30 years in City, has not previously found anything like them in these parts.
As I was leaving, Roland introduced himself. We chatted for a few minutes and I asked him why his bagels taste so great. He told me they are made out of hand-rolled dough that has been aged, and then they are boiled in water.
Perhaps this is how everyone does it - I wouldn't know - but I am quite sure that these are as close to the "real deal" as I've found this side of the Hudson.