I recently stopped in to Gugelhopf, a German bakery on 15-501 in Durham, next door to the Asia Market. Let me say unequivocally that this is the best pastry and perhaps also the best bread to be had in the area. My wife and I treated ourselves to an $11 tasting menu: apple strudel, an almond croissant, a inzer cookie, pear and cranberry tart, a "country roll," and a bialy with cheese, egg, and ham (this last was a tasty snack, but not what a New Yorker would call a bialy). The pastries -- especially the apple strudel -- were exceptionally good, FAR better than what one might buy at say Whole Foods or Southern Season or Weaver Street or Foster's. There is real craft and intelligence at work here, as oppossed to mere slinging of butter and sugar. I will have to return to make a thorough evaluation of their bread.
Many thanks to the Chowhounds who pointed me in the right direction.